Pulled Apart By Horses have firmly stamped their mark on the UK map with their relentless touring ethic and the frenetic energy they have put into those shows over the past two years. But their self-titled, full length, debut is probably their biggest challenge yet – how the hell can they imbibe a circular piece of plastic (or a collection of 0’s and 1’s) with the same phenomenal power?
Well, don’t ask me how, but they’ve done it. It’s difficult to put into words just how exhilarating the tracks present here are without resorting to embarrassing hyperbole or comparisons to breakneck careening down a gloomy country road. Ah, looks like I’ve fallen at the first hurdle.
If you haven’t seen the Pulled Apart By Horses roadshow yet (and you really owe it to yourself to correct that as soon as possible) then this is a pretty good summation of what to expect, minus the pouring of sweat and extreme risk of injury. Relentless would sum it up well: ‘Back To The Fuck Yeah’ is a raucous opener, Tom Hudson’s voice bellowing like a drunkard getting mixed up with a cheese grater, while being thrown from pillar to post with weighty punches of guitar and bass.
Anyone who has been following PABH over the past two years will be familiar with some of the tracks offered up here. The decision to re-record the likes of ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ and their first ever song ‘The Lighthouse’ may at first seem a lazy one, but it makes sense. The tracks are a much sharper edge, refined to the point of razor sharp perfection. It makes this release an exhaustive diary of the band’s tumultuous history, and means anyone playing catch up doesn’t miss out on some of their more crunching numbers.
The new tracks stand up against the established numbers as well. ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ switches between frantic pacing and riffs tumbling like boulders from a mountain, at an absolutely dizzying speed, while ‘Yeah Buddy’ has a biting sarcastic tone to it, Hudon’s vocals applying a heavy dose of caustic wit to his lyrics.
And so it continues, track after track, second after second. There’s no respite, as squeals of feedback and laughter amongst the band fill in the gaps between tracks, adding to the loose, live atmosphere. Hudson goes red in the face screaming “Because you’re dead, you don’t pay tax!” on the brilliantly titled ‘I’ve Got Guestlist To Rory O’Hara’s Suicide’ but the infectious guitars keep it all jovial, and most remarkably, catchy.
And that’s the great thing with this album. Despite its thrashy, fuck yeah attitude, it never ceases to be anything other than absolutely addictive. It tugs and pulls at the ears constantly, bouncing about like a monkey on crack, convulsing all over the place. Comparisons are hard to make: there’s a hint of Iggy and his inexorable Stooges in the raw sound, while contemporary similarities would come from the likes of Kong in the off-kilter riffs and Future Of The Left in the sheer attitude of it all. But really, Pulled Apart By Horses stand on a pillar all of their own.
To be honest, this review will never do this album any justice. Like a wild student party that concludes with someone setting fire to something or someone, it just won’t be the same experience if you’re being told about it the next day. Put simply, this is very, very good and you should buy it.
Originally published at The Line of Best Fit.