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Review: New Horrors Album Exhumes '80s Ghosts

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If you're over the age of 35, the new Horrors album (streaming in full on their website now) will conjure a Proustian rush of memories. Skying is located down an '80s cul-de-sac (sign-posted Lost Boys Close) few feared would ever be re-discovered. But the Horrors have enthusiastically backed their cobwebbed charabanc onto the lawn and are scaring the neighbours with their neglected-shrubbery hair and aggressive shoes.

And who are those neighbours? The Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen, the House of Love, Kitchens of Distinction, Simple Minds: it's Duffel Coat Central round here.

And - wait, sorry. Let's pause for a moment. Simple Minds? That can't be right. No one in 2011 would make an album influenced by Simple Minds, critically unloved Scots arena-botherers who haven't had a notable hit since excruciatingly over-cooked Troubles ballad Belfast Child in 1989.

Ok, we're talking early Simple Minds here, before frontman Jim Kerr had turned into a blobby Bono minus the moves, and in all honesty only about half the album is really touched by the Simps's particular brand of doomy stadium bluster (the other half is doomy post-punk bluster, and rather marvelous with it).

But the fact is, the prospect of a Simple Minds revival represents the high point of a trend that's been slowly building since the beginning of the '00s: there is no rubbish band that can't be reclaimed by pop. The first time this became a notable phenomenon was probably with the Darkness, who brought Queen's empty rock bombast back to life at the start of the century (the fact that you may be reading this now and going, "Wait, but Queen were cool, man!" is testament to how successful the Darkness were in rehabilitating one of the worst bands this country's ever produced).

Next up: Elton John, who has the patronage of the Scissor Sisters to thank for the fact that Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is now regarded as a classic, and everyone's conveniently forgotten about Sacrifice, that affront to scansion that once defined him as the epitome of '80s naff, not to mention Candle In The Blimmin' Wind.

Even Phil Collins had his moment in the sun, enjoying an entire tribute album created in his honour by a bizarre coterie of marginal r'n'b stars (Kelis, Lil' Kim, Brandy, um, Dane Bowers) called Urban Renewal.

If Phil Collins can be reclaimed, then there's hope for everyone. Right now, artists once deemed laughable - T'Pau, Howard Jones, Leo Sayer, Marillion - are sitting by the phone, waiting for their managers to call. "It's alright, Tom Bailey out of the Thompson Twins," one will say. "We've found a bunch of kids in Hoxton who think Into The Gap is a lost classic! Everyone in E1 has dyed their hair red! You're finally cool!"