On their singles and EPs, the Horrors proved they'd done their post-punk and freakbeat homework. With their debut album, Strange House, they push their sound forward, distill it to its rawest essence, and give it a few funhouse mirror twists and turns for good measure. Almost half of the songs on the album already appeared on previous Horrors releases, but the ever-so-slightly cleaner production here gives more definition to their black-on-black sound. The band kicks off Strange House by revisiting their cover of Screaming Lord Sutch's "Jack the Ripper," which begins at a zombie-slow pace, then suddenly speeds up halfway through, transforming into a hurtling roller coaster of a song that makes a great introduction to Strange House's mix of campy humor, energy, and menace. With its dive-bombing noise barely held together by Faris Badwan's shouting and the faintest hint of a melody, "Sheena Is a Parasite" is still the Horrors' best and most radical song, although several other tracks here rival its black-hearted thrills.