Pulled Apart By Horses
Tough Love


3.5
great

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (130 Reviews)
January 17th, 2012 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pulled Apart By Horses second record delivers in pretty much every way you'd expect it to.

Pulled Apart By Horses are one of those bands that are neither here nor there. Too hard to be rock, yet not hard enough to be hardcore, they manage to teeter on the edges of established genre boundaries without possessing a sound that's especially unconventional or out-the-box by any means. No matter, the music that they make is rarely less than enthralling, as evidenced on their fun-as-hell self-titled debut LP released in 2010. Admittedly, live is where they earn the majority of their beans (and money), but that record was nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable listen from a band who seem to be in it for the right reasons, that is, to have fun, and to deliver as much for those paying attention. In every sense, follow-up Tough Love delivers on exactly the same fronts, and as such can be viewed as a similar success.

That previous sentence may seem to imply that this sophomore effort merely equates to more of the same, but that assumption would be grossly unfair on a band who have clearly made great strides over the past two years. Their improvement as a musical unit is obvious on each of Tough Love's eleven tracks, with more refined individual performances from each of the quartet leading to a far tighter and more balanced sound. A step up in their songwriting is also partly responsible for this, with each cut here representing a deliberate, fully-formed song as opposed to those on their debut, which often seemed like little more than a cobbled together collection of riffs and other undeveloped ideas. As an added compliment, the production here is also far stronger, with former Pixes, Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World collaborator Gil Norton adding his trademark sheen and precision to the chaos here.

Even with those notable changes, though, this is an album that delivers in pretty much every way that you'd expect it to, with little in the way of added thrills and, at 32 minutes, minimal fat around the edges. The riffs still pack a punch, the songs still place their emphasis firmly on fun and the band's fondness for blunt expression remains in the form of lines such as "when I was a kid I was a dick, but nothing changes!" 'Wolf Hand,' the song on which that lyric features is an obvious highlight, and perhaps the best example of the benefits brought about by Norton's involvement. It's predecessor, lead single 'V.E.N.O.M.' is even better, and is challenged only by latter cut 'Bromance Ain't Dead' as the most fully-realised song that they have penned to date.

Overall, though, there's not a song here which falls below the standards that Pulled Apart By Horses have set for themselves, and while Tough Love is far from a game-changing it hits most fans expectations head on. More or less on par with their debut, you get the impression that this is the level are destined to stay at for the rest of their musical career, such is the air of dependability they omit even at this relatively early stage. They're not the type of band that seems likely to advance beyond this level, or dip significantly below it, and while their music is unlikely to ever gain them lofty accolades or widespread acclaim it's never less than thoroughly enjoyable. The live arena is where their forte remains, but if nothing else this record reaffirms the fact that their studio exploits are well worth looking into also.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also posted at http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Streaming here (UK only) http://www.nme.com/news/pulled-apart-by-horses--2/61464

Bottom line: If you liked their first you'll like this. If you haven't listened to them before they're worth a go.

Horsehammer
January 17th 2012


550 Comments


"out-the-box my any means"

maybe you meant BY any means...

"Gil Norton adding the his trademark"

take out "the"?

"Even with those notable changes, though,"

excess comma usage, also noticeable throughout

"this is an album that delivers in pretty much every way that you'd expect it to,"

you already said that in the summary

have a pos, because in the end, i know what you're trying to say

Restrikted
January 17th 2012


1889 Comments


Nice review

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I didnt find much here i liked tbh. Found it fairly bland.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys

Horsehammer: Thanks for the nitpicks, I'll fix those up.

Tom: The songs don't quite have the edge that those on their debut did, but I think that the improvements they've made outweigh that.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I've never heard their first so i wouldn't know. I'll trust you tho; good review; pos.

iFghtffyrdmns
January 17th 2012


7047 Comments


i was drawn and quartered once.
it fucking blew, hurt like shit

jefflebowski
January 22nd 2012


8243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is badass

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2012


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds promising

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor



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