CAROLINE INTERNATIONAL 17th March, 2017
Opening an album with the title track should give you a fair idea of what the band are aiming at and the eponymous track does just that – blistering pace, loud, hoarse. They go on to confirm it with The Big If. Pulled Apart By Horses have never been quiet and I remember having my ears mangled in little Leeds venues like The Faversham and The Fenton. Live, they certainly used to be an explosion of energy and noise (I’ve not seen them in years).
This Leeds four-piece like it punchy and shouty and this smoothly produced album still conveys what makes them a great live act. For me, it misses some of the garage / cellar sound I used to love, through the frills of a bigger budget production and is big-budget grunge, with more than a touch of the Foos. You’ll find plenty to shake your head to in beaty blasts like Prince Of Meats or speedsters like Neighbourhood Witch. Psych edges in with Lamping and Dumb Fun, while Flash Lads can trace its DNA back to rock and roll and punk. Moonbather has Sex Pistols moments and I even heard some Glam influences in My Evil Twin. This is a real mish-mash of influences and a fun head-banging listen.
This is their fourth album and, not having heard the others (only been to gigs), I can’t confirm whether this is a back-to-basics as they claim. Having, as bands do, had fun making their first album, the second and third required thought and composition. With the fourth; “basically,” says vocalist/guitarist Tom Hudson, “we wanted to go with our guts”. Locking themselves up in a cottage in Wales let them hothouse some material. Adding a new drummer didn’t hurt – having a new member makes a band listen more and interact better. I really enjoy the chewy bass here and the drummer is excellent, capable of all the styles mashed together here. Energy levels are kept in the red and the album shouts, trashes and twists its way into the run-out grooves with one guitar screaming and the other crunching riffs.