Release Date: Sep 1, 2014
Record label: Best of the Best
There was a time - believe it or not - when Pulled Apart By Horses weren’t an international success. It seems surprising now, what with the four-piece’s massive fan-base and frequent radio airplay, but the Leeds-based band haven’t always been what many would consider to be a mainstream band. Their rise to popularity was inevitable, though, and Pulled Apart By Horses continue to be one of the most relevant and hardest working bands in the UK right now.
“Ah, I see you like Pulled Apart By Horses. Are you a new fan or an old fan? I loved their first album and bits of their second one, but that new stuff fucking sucks, man.” It seems like now is the time for Pulled Apart By Horses to reach that inestimable level. The one where their public presence bloats and the prescriptivist notions entrenched within the hardcore elite thickens the underground venom to a grimy soup.
Pulled Apart By Horses emerged from the ashes of the NME-constructed New Yorkshire scene, along with other Leeds bands – such as Dinosaur Pile-Up – producing a mix of slacker and stoner rock and doing it with a sense of humour. On their third album, this quartet stick with the formula that's worked for them so far: QOTSA-style riffing (Hot Squash), daft song titles (ADHD in HD) and the kind of huge, singalong choruses (You Want It) that suit their raucous gigs. They're hardly reinventing the wheel, but their riffs'n'rawk approach should be lapped up by all those people currently flocking to see the likes of Royal Blood, hungry for simple, stripped-back tunes.
The trouble with making your name off the back of demented screamo meltdowns with titles such as ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ is that anything you do subsequently makes you look like you’ve gone soft. But that’s not the only hurdle facing Pulled Apart By Horses. After two albums of punk-noise destruction, they find themselves happy to occasionally play gigantic stages supporting the likes of Biffy Clyro or Kaiser Chiefs, but up there, they’re perhaps feeling slightly awkward about the caterwauling mayhem they bring with them.On third album ‘Blood’, the Leeds foursome attempt to crack this conundrum.
This is the third Pulled Apart By Horses record. Since they formed in Leeds towards the back end of the last decade, their career’s been something of a balancing act. They’re a noisy rock band with a sound that often veers towards hardcore territory, and they’re also apparently named after a brutal method of execution that would seem in keeping with such sonic territory; dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll realise that they actually took their moniker from an obscure Radiohead B-side, one that Thom Yorke would eventually release under his own name years later.