The making of their previous album, The Haze, has been described as a turbulent time for UK rockers PULLED APART BY HORSES, the relatively mixed reactions of it an echo of sorts to that unsettled time. Since then, the band has undergone line-up change and a re-imagining of their sound, which in itself had never settled for a lack of adventure anyway. Now they are back with Reality Cheques, revealing a fresher leaner sound for ears to contemplate.
The five years or so between releases saw the departure of guitarist James Brown with Rob Lee taking over those duties and bassist Owen Griffiths (of seminal Leeds band BLACKLISTERS) joining up for live dates. With vocalist Tom Hudson and drummer Tommy Davidson completing the reduced line-up, PULLED APART BY HORSES also slimmed down their sound whilst exploring new hues in its rock ‘n’ roll instincts. The Leeds band in their words, “made a collective decision to create a set of songs that were minimal, simple, direct, and delivered with rawness and urgency.” The result is a sound which bears a voracious mix of garage rock and punk with post punk inclinations and an album which returns the band as one of the UK’s truly exciting propositions.
The band have uncaged an even more feral aspect to their sound within their new tracks, that directness and urgent energy in rapacious mood within Reality Cheques but equally the inherent imagination of the band is still an unfiltered fuel in their songwriting and creativity as proven by opener Pipe Dream. Its psych cast beginnings are like a shimmering veil across what is to come, the emerging post punk bred bassline another tease as the start almost taunts attention, daring it to come closer before rewarding with a multi-faceted landscape of temptation and eventually a surge of garage rock ‘n’ roll confrontation
It is an enthralling start instantly cemented by the following First World Problems, an ear gripping slab of garage rock/punk incitement poking at apathy towards bigger issues for one’s own personal trivialities. A cauldron of contagion and guitar sprung flames the track is superb, drawing on seventies bred garage rock hues for its fire before Sleep In Your Grave just as impressively erupts with its own punk infused uproar. It too is as catchy as it is predacious though, relentlessly urging and scorching the senses with every second of its two minutes plus.
A post punk nagging opens up Rinse And Repeat, that alone enough to ignite personal instincts before the band weave a psych nurtured web around sonic entanglement of song and ears. Whiffs of garage punk and pop punk add to the tapestry of temptation sprung, the song grabbing our favourite moment with relish while Devil Inside draws on similar ingredients to weave a classic rock meets psych punk toned seduction. The band’s individuality to others as well as the same distinctiveness between their own songs is boldly fertile throughout the release and licking its lips again within the Iggy-esque rock ‘n’ roll of Rat Race. Maybe not burrowing under the skin as immediately as others around it, the song still barely needed a couple of plays to lure keen pleasure and participation.
The final pair of Positive Place and Fear Of Missing Out as compellingly complete the richly enjoyable encounter with the first a calm yet fiery stroll through progressive enterprise under psychedelically lit skies. As with all tracks, it is still rock ‘n’ roll at its core and a dextrous manipulation of body and imagination, traits just as enabled and potent within its successor. The final track uncages untamed garage bred pop ‘n’ roll, infection oozing from every swing and rhythmic jab, as throughout Hudson’s vocals prove as agile and rousing as the uproar around him.
It is a glorious end to one thrilling offering, an album declaring PULLED APART BY HORSES back in full rein of their craft and invention to give the year another major highlight.
Reality Cheques is out now via Alcopop! Records.
PULLED APART BY HORSES Live Dates:
10/20/22 Stoke Underground
10/21/22 Birmingham Asylum
10/23/22 Bristol Rough Trade
10/24/22 Swansea Bunkhouse
10/27/22 Milton Keynes The Craufurd Arms
10/28/22 London The Garage
10/29/22 Ashford The Glass House
10/30/22 Brighton The Hope & Ruin
Tickets on sale now: https://www.pulledapartbyhorses.com/
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Pete RingMaster 08/10/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review
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