Pulled Apart By Horses
Tom Hudson -vocals/guitar
James Brown - guitar
Lee Vincent - drums
Robert Lee - vocals/bass
Pulled Apart By Horses are the British rock band worth getting wood for.
Their self-titled 2010 debut was a sonic maelstrom of screamo and hard disco riffage; here was heavy music that you could shake a tail feather to, pop music at its most corrupted. Dance music played by wiry punk weirdo's.
Essentially, the band’s much-talked about live show captured on plastic, early singles such as ‘Back To The Fuck Yeah’ and ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ somehow ended up being played repeatedly by Radio 1, on whose playlists they gleefully sat like the mad tramp that’s gate-crashed the toff’s tea party. Fuck yeah indeed!
But things move fast. Pulled Apart By Horses have already moved way beyond those early days. The Leeds quartet have put meat on the brittle musical bones of their debut and with second album Tough Love created a monster. It’s a much more muscular creature than its kid brother, one that could go toe-to-toe with titans like AC/DC, Nirvana or Queens Of The Stone Age and still come out looking pretty after twelve rounds.
At the production helm was Gil Norton, who has previously shaped sound for the likes of The Pixies and Foo Fighters. Gil located to Leeds to help the band deconstruct and re-build their new batch of music. Without tinkering too much with the alchemy, he has helped fashion a swaggering collection. Fierce, sexy, galvanised. - this mutha’s about to blow.
Always a band with the best song titles (‘I've Got Guestlist to Rory O'Hara's Suicide’, ‘Meat Balloon’ etc) and lyrics chock-full of twisted poetry, baffling non sequiturs and cryptic slogans, this time Tough Love goes big on the imagery of classic horror movies. ‘Epic Myth’ for example, was inspired by Dario Argento’s Suspiria while ‘Wild Fire, Smoke & Doom’ is nothing less than a medieval party anthem.
Lead single – and album opener – ‘V.E.N.O.M’ meanwhile sounds like Armageddon itself, singer Tom Hudson not so much delivering vocals as spewing hot globules of flaming brimstone over a display of white-hot musical pyrotechnics. It’s brilliantly evil sounding. Elsewhere on Tough Love there are duelling Thin Lizzy-style guitars, dark melodies reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age and the explosiveness of early hardcore. But whatever they do it is all defiantly - and definitely - Pulled Apart By Horses.
“Our debut was powerful, but it was done in no time at all,” says Lee Vincent. “Really it was an attempt to capture the energy and chaos of our live show. Tough Love is still raw, but it’s a proper album. It’s fuller, bigger, more focused, the playing is better, we’re moving forward all the time. It’s got more balls too. Bigger balls. It’s direct and to the point. We’ve left nothing to chance.”
To fans, this huge progression should come as no surprise, of course....
Initially fuelled by a love of classic rock, punk and post-hardcore band like At The Drive-In, Blood Brothers and Rage Against The Machine, Pulled Apart By Horses formed at the tail-end of 2007. Their early years saw a reputation for chaos and physical harm quickly earned. Pile-driving out of Leeds they toured with The Bronx, Muse, Biffy Clyro and Glassjaw and accrued many an injury along the way; their early press coverage can be measured not in column inches, but pints of spilled blood. Debut single ‘Meat Balloon’ came out in 2008 on Big Scary Monsters Recording Company (and included a comic created by Tom Hudson,) and was followed in 2009 by ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’. Busy summers were spent getting down and dirty at many a-festival. The PABH boys also found time to knock out a clutch of great videos (including on made on a ferry after one hour’s sleep using only one camera and four fruity sailors outfits), record a cover of Willow Smith’s ‘Whip My Hair’ for the BBC and just generally comported themselves like the saviours of British rock that they so clearly are. And we don’t say that lightly.
Because like the aforementioned Biffy Clyro and Muse before them, Pulled Apart By Horses are that once-in-a-blue-moon band, one who sound primed to make the leap from underground heroes to transcendental rock greatness. They are that band to ditch your job and change your life for. Tough Love is here.