ALBUM: Pulled Apart By Horses – Blood ★★★☆☆

pabh bloodArtist: Pulled Apart By Horses

Album: Blood

Release Date: 01/09/14

Pulled Apart By Horses are a band with a reputation for putting on a rowdy live show with filth ridden rock n roll riffs, and they’re usually pretty good at it. Second album ‘Tough Love’ came out to much anticipation and heralded much praise from fans and critics alike, making for a steady start to life for the Leeds lads. Tour after tour came and went before the band settled down to write another record. That record would turn out to be ‘Blood’, can they pick up where they left off with TL?

Opener ‘Hot Squash’ starts off all quiet and menacing with a pulsating drum beat before everything kicks in. Initial thoughts are that the first riff sounds a lot like an old school Queens Of The Stone Age piece, not a bad comparison by any means. Straight away the funky feel and loose music fits perfectly with the album artwork and all makes sense as to why it was chosen. A Black Keys resemblance also comes into place with certain effects and the structure of the song.  This should all make for an intriguing album then right? ‘ADHD in HD’ has more of that funk influence and steady rhythm that works with a quiet/loud dynamic throughout. Mixed all together though makes for a fairly unspectacular track and plods along but never gets anywhere, there’s no urgency to it at all and comes across as rather dull. Until a noisy solo erupts to close out the song.

There’s also a stoner rock vibe that occurs during a lot of the verses, slow, quiet but at times heavy guitar work before they surge into these huge and dirty rock choruses, like on ‘Lizard Baby’ that seem intended for incendiary live performances. The acceleration and ‘dangerous’ feel to PABH music arrives back in the form of ‘You Want It’, a 3 minute head banging, body shaking blast of rock n roll that’s sexy and dirty. More of this please. In spite of what we want, the band go back into another slightly drab mid tempo funk fuelled experiment, that however does come with a surging closing riff on ‘Hello Men’. ‘Skull Noir’ has a noisy opening, then cracks on and is catchy as fuck in it’s simplicity in instrumentation and lyrical content. ‘Grim Deal’, ‘Bag of Snakes’ and ‘Outahead’ come and go without really registering.

‘Medium Rare’ picks things up with it’s walking pace verses and psychedelic chorus, and album closer ‘Golden Monument’ see’s the band really stretching their wings to write one of the most memorable guitar lines of the year and makes for a 5 minute epic, but sadly doesn’t do enough to make us want to hit the repeat button anytime soon. Broadening their ideas and musical palette seemed to be on the agenda for PABH with this release but with that means that the visceral delivery and punch suffered to make way for this new ‘safer’ sound. ‘Blood’ is if nothing else, a little disappointing.