Review Summary: Pulled Apart By Horses finally bring the party to album form. Fun, aggression, infectiousness and all round craziness anchored by poppy song writing, this could be your new favourite band.
It’s been a long time coming but UK rockers Pulled Apart By Horses have finally released their debut album. During their young, but burgeoning career the quartet have toured relentlessly, shared stages with the likes of fellow countrymen Biffy Clyro, Muse and Future Of The Left and blown away audiences at festivals such as Reading & Leeds, Hevy and Download. In short they have been diligently making their name on the UK live circuit. But a question that surely crossed the minds of witnesses to their feral brand of ‘party-rock’ is whether they can translate the energy of their live show to CD. Pulled Apart By Horses’ self-titled debut attempts to do this and mostly succeeds, although not entirely.
With their self-titled debut being released following such fervent touring, many who have seen the band will be at least somewhat familiar with most of the material found here, and so there was always a chance that it may sound slightly predictable – which would be disastrous for this
album. Fortunately songs such as ‘The Crapsons’
and ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’
lose none of their energy and carry a playful air of volatility about them. Their music is a balls-out style of rock/post-hardcore (a la Million Dead or Blakfish – both British, both sadly defunct) mixed with the twee intricacies of modern indie-pop bands such as Foals, and the infectiousness of fellow bearded Brits, Biffy Clyro. Throughout the album they deviate little from this formula – though this is not too much of a problem considering the wide range of influences which merge to define PABH’s sound – and considering how well they pull it off. It’s a surprise then, that the best song on the album, ‘Yeah, Buddy’
is arguably the most atypical, with its breezy chorus and cool guitar work in the verses lacking the playful aggression present in almost every single song on the album.
In certain areas, however, Pulled Apart By Horses do slip up. Album closer ‘Den Horn
goes on about four minutes too long and the fantastically titled ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’
is frequently slowed down to an extent bordering on ridiculous. Having said that, the ideas that contributed to these faults still show a great deal of promise from a young band. The overly repetitive refrain in ‘Den Horn’ is actually a monster of a riff that a band like Queens Of The Stone Age would be proud of, and the song writing in ‘High Five…’ which led to the overly dramatic tempo shifts is intelligent and unique in its own ***ed up way. The only real complaint you can level at the album is that it is too one-dimensional, but then again, this is too be expected.
Pulled Apart By Horses’ debut could certainly have come out sooner than it did, but instead of releasing it, the band have been spending their time wowing audiences across the country. Their hard work has paid off as during this time they have road-tested an albums worth of material and should know by now that it is great. With excellent musicianship across the board, although there is a greater focus on the work of the two guitars; a penchant for unhinged, but catchy song writing; and a great ‘party attitude’ PABH’s self-titled debut is indeed a success. In, they could very well be your new favourite band - you just don’t know it yet.