Saturday, 11 February 2012
Album: Tough Love
Release Date: 20/1/2012
Leeds' finest refine their terrifically exciting and noisy rock on album number 2 and get that one step closer to greatness
Over the course of the last two years or so, Leeds quartet Pulled Apart By Horses have quickly risen from strength to strength to become one of the best loved rock bands Britain has churned out in years. Even now though, considering their ball- breaking, full- throttle screamo- noise take on punk has never really been a sound that appeals to the indie masses it should be hard to explain just why. It isn't though; humongous, sweaty and chaotic riffs, pummelling beats and ferocious live shows characterised the band's rise and their 2010 full- length debut. In short, PABH's ball twisting racket was the most terrifically exciting rock that British people had heard in years.
Their self- titled debut featured some inspired slabs of meaty heaviness, lead headlong into the rock 'n' roll battlefield by the insane riffs and deranged, grizzled howls of frontman Tom Hudson. Claims from the band that they're "definitely better musicians this time" in reference to "Tough Love" however certainly don't go amiss. PABH have kept all those old traits- the riffs, the fire, the energy- and thrown them all together for a much more refined and (production wise) clear sound, and in some cases some career- defining songs, in the same way that "High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive" or "I Punched A Lion In The Throat" will always be.
Opener "V.E.N.O.M." crashes in in a flurry of furious off- kilter drums and a complex but catchy powerhouse of a riff. Straight away it's a more cohesive (and as a result arguably more powerful) sound. It's followed up by the delectable "Wolf Hand", a rollicking punk 'n' roll screamer carried through by one of the finest riffs the band have ever conjured, whilst the verses see the band fuse melody with noise expertly for the first time on "Tough Love" with James Brown's chiming lead line.
"Epic Myth" grooves along with a sleazy riff reminiscent of '70s stoner metal, and has a thunderous classic rock ending that London beer- guzzling throwbacks Orange Goblin would wish they had written. "Some Mothers", which clocks in at 1 minute 43 seconds, is a gut busting and furiously paced but hugely melodic crack at beefed- up punk, and comes off superbly. The real "Fuck Me!" moment however is "Give Me A Reason", a storming, crushingly heavy Nirvana- esque stomp- along featuring another monolithic riff and seeing hatred and revenge pushed to the centre of Hudson's mind as he yelps "I never liked you/ I never liked you/ You're not the same as me!"
As the sentiments on "Give Me A Reason" suggest, Pulled Apart By Horses are not a band to be tested on the strengths of "Tough Love." From start to finish it's an absolute powerhouse, one that may be more refined and melodic than it's debut, but one that finds the almost- perfect medium between heaviness and writing brilliant songs. "Tough Love" is a record where pretty much everything works in the band's favour, and it's for that reason that with "Tough Love" Pulled Apart By Horses edge ever closer to the British rock throne.
Download: 1) Give Me A Reason, 2) Wolf Hand, 3) Wildfire, Smoke & Doom
For Fans Of: The Bronx, Nirvana, At The Drive- In