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Album Review: Pulled Apart by Horses – The Haze

 


Album Review: Pulled Apart by Horses – The Haze

Review by Craig Grant. Leeds’s Pulled Apart By Horses have announced their new album, The Haze, for release on March 17th 2017 via Caroline Australia. Those of you that heard their 2014 LP, Blood, will remember the jangling, throbbing, sort-of post-punk, sort of noise-pop that the band served up. Listening to the previous album it was like the second coming of Jaz Coleman (of Killing Joke) on vocals, such is the similarity to Tom Hudson’s lead vocal.

The Haze’ is twelve tracks of twists and turns and it’s an indie attack on pop. It’s the sort of music that would send NME into palpitations as this album is a smattering of the Stone Agers, post-punk and a huge dollop of The Stooges wrapped up in an offering that is as close to the memory of the punk masters 999 as I’ve heard. Up to the minute smart, ‘The Haze’ is urgent and hectic, split up into radio friendly chunks, and all over in less that forty minutes. It’s been beautifully steered and produced by Ross Orton, the man that helped give the album, ‘AM’ the feel that the Artic Monkeys had just wandered in, blasted out a seminal album, then toddled off. For those of you in Australia you might want to go listen to Orton’s rework of Ladyhawke’s, ‘Delirium’.

The Haze’, has many moves and shakes throughout it and it makes you wonder if the band is changing direction or solidifying their sound. Comparing this to the previous album two things stand out; the quality of the sound in the new album and the treatment of the vocal here is much less brash than, ‘Blood’.

Track one, ‘The Haze’, is the definition of noise-pop, a jangly guitar then thick riff of punk attitude slimmed down to fit into radio play. Its sing-a-long smart, well produced and a vibe that would be an opener at any venue. By the time the fuzzed out lead guitar comes into solo we know that this will kill live. Great track and top opener for the album. It dovetails straight into, ‘The Big What If’, which is the track that made me think that Jaz Coleman had made a guest appearance as it’s a cocktail of the Killing Joke, the Furs and that power-chorus is The Fall. All attitude, it screams along and sets up this album.

Flash Lads’, sounds like Orton has stepped in and become the bands fifth member. This track has come out the garage and will rearrange itself into an indie classic when it hits the nearest stage, all while keeping it radio ready. All change for, ‘Moonbather’, with thick Peter Hook-like bass and catchy chorus, reminding us that the one thing that you can never do with this album is predict what is coming next. The album closes with four minutes of, ‘Dumb Fun’, which is so 1977-1982 UK indie sounding it is genius. Smart production and a million ideas crammed into this track, it’s probably the most complete track on the album and a great way to round out the set. Jangling guitars, thick power riffs and drumming which drives the song along adds up to one of the killer tracks on the album.

I liked this album because it harks back to a time when music was dangerous and filled with ideas that were fuelled with anarchy and being politically motivated. The only place more dangerous than the lyrics of tracks from the underground were the first five rows of any gig filled with people that just want to let loose.

I’ll be surprised if this album doesn’t get reasonable airplay in the UK because it deserves it and we are due for another music revolution to wipe the current ‘disco’ slate clean and let music do the talking. Pulled Apart by Horses have put together an album worthy your attention and although, ‘The Haze’, might not have the lyrical content to inspire there is enough here musically to get behind this band.

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