Release Date: Mar 17, 2017
Record label: Amnesty International
Exactly three minutes in to ‘The Haze’, Pulled Apart By Horses hit up on the searing formula for their best song since their absolutely vital self-titled debut. ‘The Big What If’ marks a truly enviable shard of thrashy rock sensibility, with an added dose of high intensity charm, with lines like “I pray to my own toilet bowl that I won’t be swallowed whole.” It’s a wall-shaking, gut-wrenching three minutes and fourteen seconds. “I’m melting faces quite literally” sings Tom Hudson on ‘Hotel Motivation’, a further advert for their no-frills, no-holding-back rock 'n' roll ethos.
It's fair to say things have been a little chaotic for the Leeds noisenicks. So it's only natural that on their fourth album, the outfit have emerged sounding as loud and calamitous as ever. With opening track "The Haze", the band cut through the ambiance with a savage ferocity and a brutal intensity. Guitar hooks are weighted to breaking point, melodies splintering and evolving at a breakneck speed.
Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. Seduced by memories of a time when their music was made purely for the hell of it, these Leeds indiescene veterans attempt to recreate that spirit here - or, as they put it, "to go with our guts and fuck everyone else". It's a noble intention, no doubt, but one that ultimately fails to pay off. The album's not without its highlights - The Big What If is a snarling slice of Stoogesinspired post-grunge, while Prince Of Meats trades in the sort of dirgy alt.rock that would make QOTSA proud - but in getting back to basics, The Haze is too diluted by its manifold influences to make much impact.