Album Review: Pulled Apart By Horses - 'Tough Love'

27 January 2012 | 3:20 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

A huge step up in all areas.

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Pulled Apart By Horses claim that when they made their debut self titled album, they weren’t the best musicians around. They offer this honest slice of humble pie as part of an explanation to why they think their new album ‘Tough Love is much better.

They claim their song-writing has improved and that all of the songs on the record have their own personality being are more ambitious than their predecessors. Whilst I didn’t think their debut was that bad, I tend to agree with the band in regards to their comments on the follow up. The eleven new tracks sound like they are coming from a group that have settled into their own style and have had enough time to gather the experience to know the difference between what works for them, and what doesn’t.

Opening track and first single V.E.N.O.M is a frantic, energetic way to kick things off, using a guitar and melody line that bounces off one another brilliantly. The catchy yet aggressive attack of the vocals tell us that the group have found a way maintain their hardcore punk roots whilst adding a sprinkle of mainstream appeal. Take for example the second track Wolf Hand, a groove heavy song that allows the drum and guitar lines to ooze sex appeal while vocalist Tom Hudson screams “When I was a kid, I was a dick,” in his harsh, high-pitched voice.

The group worked with producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies), who has managed to round out the band’s sound whilst maintaining their raw and energetic feel. PABH’s reputation is focused around their live show, which by all reports is mental, so translating that onto a record is a very important factor and Norton has managed to do that quite well.

The album moves from Queens of the Stone Age style sludge rock on Epic Myth, to fast paced punk tunes like Some Monsters. The defining characteristic of this particular record when it all boils down is the guitar lines. The opening section of Give Me A Reason is proof of this, using powerful, nasty toned guitars that set the pace and vibe, while the rest of the group fall into line like soldiers. The album ends with Everything Dipped In Gold, a bass driven rock song that slowly builds whilst staying centred around its main melody lines, finishing with anthem like guitar lines and whistles.

Pulled Apart By Horses claim they are a better band than before and ‘Tough Love’ proves it. From song-writing style and diversity to the sound in general, this record bumps the band up a level and is definitely something worth checking out.

1. V.E.N.O.M
2. Wolf Hand
3. Shake Off The Curse
4. Epic Myth
5. Some Monsters
6. Night Of The Living (I'm Scared Of People)
7. Wildfire, Smoke & Doom
8. Bromance Ain't Dead
9. Give Him A Reason
10. Degeneration Game
11. Everything Dipped In Gold