Pulled Apart By Horses

Tough Love

Written by: TL on 27/02/2012 13:32:38

Last year I went to the Pulled Apart By Horses show at Roskilde Festival's Pavilion stage with positively no expectations whether good or bad, and later that afternoon, I left the stage having had my ass kicked by one of the most fun and energetic live bands I have seen in quite some time. This prompted me to seek out and check out the band's self-titled 2010 debut, but despite giving it a few listens, it eventually slided from my scope of interest with a thoughts like "works wonders live, but not so interesting on record" pinned on it. Now however, the band has a new album out called "Tough Love" and seeing as they're playing in Copenhagen tonight and I'm going, it seems fitting to prepare by checking that out as well doesn't it?

I'm guessing the reason "Pulled Apart By Horses" didn't become one of my most listened records ever, is that the band employed a super straight-forward, dirty, energetic 'built-for-live' approach. And while I read in a recent interview with them, that the guys feel like they've made "Tough Love" more of an album of songs you can actually listen to, but if there's a progression to be found here, I think it's a relatively small one. From what I can hear, the approach still goes something like this: write a dirty, noisy, catchy riff, add frantic rhythms and then scream a cheeky chorus the kind of which lends itself well, to being wailed back tunelessly by fans.

This makes for batches of garage/punk/rock'n'roll/neo-grunge-core(??) songs that constantly urge you to get on your feet and tear shit up. It is this omnipresent primal force that makes Pulled Apart By Horses work so fantastically in the live setting, yet it is also this singlemindedness that I feel make them sort of a challenge to enjoy on record. The sheer memorability of it all, simply hinges solely on the strength of those cheeky hooks, and to be quite frank, I'm not sure "Tough Love" has as many of those to offer as did "Pulled Apart By Horses". Openers "V.E.N.O.M" and "Wolf Hand" appear solid, but the method to the band's madness soon starts to sound a bit monotonous to me, and if you blink for just a second, the album's tight 32 minutes will race by you at such a manic pace that you'll be surprised so soon it ends.

I think my overall point is this: "Tough Love" has groovy riffage, cheeky, raspy choruses and electrifying energy and it has those in abundance. It does not however, have the consistency or nuances that I think it takes to make a top shelf rock album, the kind of which can stimulate your more sophisticated tendencies from cover to cover. If you can live with this though, you should definitely give it a chance to melt your face, if for no other reason than to be prepared to see its songs in the live environment, in which I have no doubt they will realise a whole different kind of potential.


Download: V.E.N.O.M, Wolf Hand
For The Fans Of: The Blood Brothers, DANANANANAYKROYD, Victorian Halls, The Hives
Listen: facebook.com/pulledapartbyhorses

Release Date 23.01.2012
Transgressive Records

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