If you’ve seen Pulled Apart By Horses live, then you know how crazy things can get. They put everything into when they’re playing, sometimes injuring themselves in the process, and they cause such a tight and enclosing atmosphere that it’s hard not get involved. Their presence and antics on stage aren’t too far away from their studio recordings; the effort and drive the band has in abundance seeps from every track: frantic, in-your-face yet danceable are only a few words I can use to describe their sound.
Formed at the tail end of 2007, the band quickly built up a fanbase mainly due to word of their live shows getting around, but also because of the sound they possess, which is a mash-up of mainly indie, post-hardcore and experimental rock: heavy guitars with catchy hooks, pounding drums and the screamed, anguished vocals of Tom Hudson. Their first release and debut single, ‘Meat Balloon’, went down a storm and is still a resounding piece of work, while their eponymous debut album, released in 2010, made such an impression that the band were invited to support Muse on their tour of the UK and they also toured with Biffy Clyro.
So, they’ve made a name for themselves and have become favourites with a lot of people. Can this new album, ‘Tough Love’, continue to push the band further? The answer is: yes. It could be said that this album is even stronger than its predecessor, and the band have continued to evolve their sound to a level that sets them apart even more.
Particular highlights include lead single and album opener, ‘V.E.N.O.M.’, a track that has angular guitars, a bouncing bass-line and rhythmical, solid drums. Tom Hudson screams the lyrics out as if he believes 2012 is the year the world ends, and the chorus of “V.E.N.O.M.” which is spat out repeatedly adds an aspect to the song that will allow it to be a hit in gigs, as the crowd is sure to get involved with it.
‘Shake Off The Curse’ starts with a dirty, grinding bass-line which allows melodic guitars and a throbbing drum-beat to step in, helping Hudson‘s vocals to gain an effect of anarchy, which in turn lends a punk vibe to the track. The backing vocals of bassist Robert John Lee also work well within the feel of the track. It’s a track that highlights the attitude they can bring to the table, while also appealing to the mainstream.
‘Bromance Ain’t Dead’ explodes with drums and guitars working in unison. The guitars angle off as if they’ve got minds of their own, while the bass maintains solid rhythm throughout. A pretty impressive solo also ventures from behind the noise, and it ensures that when the song kicks back in, it snares the listener by the throat and kicks them down three flights of stairs.
Pulled Apart By Horses are one of those rare bands that can reside in alternative genres, but will still remain accessible to the masses. This is a great album that shows PABH are only just getting started. They deserve all the hype.
Written by Rhys Milsom