Pulled Apart By Horses - The Haze

by James Gerard Rating:8 Release Date:2017-03-17

It’s hard to find new ground when it comes to anything-rock-music these days.  Pretty much everything feels like an amalgamation of various shades of the past, with the best new artists typically reminding you of someone else.  That’s not to say there isn’t ‘good’ music still being released, it’s just that the golden era of trail-blazing punk bands may be far off in the rear-view mirror at this point.  So with all of that being said, Pulled Apart By Horses has done a commendable job of carving out their own little piece of musical real estate with their forthcoming release The Haze, a record that could soon become a reference point for the next generation of punk-rockers.

The album’s title track opens with a disarming bicycle bell jingle before the song explodes into a concussion of jangled guitars and driving drums.  Lead singer Tom Hudson's faux screaming/halfway singing immediately calls to mind the best of 90’s post-punk, save for the genre’s penchant for tortured ambiguity.  In fact, Pulled Apart By Horses succeeds in eschewing a number of cliches by adding a cheerful slant to their raucous romps.

“The Big What If”, with its driving drums and snarling vocal attack feels like a defacto battle cry, while the Iggy Pop inspired “Hotel Motivation” shuffles and grooves underneath Hudson’s declaration ‘I still can’t get no sleep, I’m melting faces, quite literally’.  The album closes with the fittingly titled “Dumb Fun”, a tuneful slice of sonic excess wrapped around a refrain brazenly requesting the audience to ‘take a minute to compose yourself'.

Elsewhere, the ambitious guitar work of James Brown married with the incredibly locked in rhythm section of drummer Tommy Davidson and bassist Robert John Lee is benefitted this time around by an excellent mix, allowing everyone space to breath in what could be an otherwise claustrophobic batch of songs.                                                                                                                                                                       
Pulled Apart By Horses has spent the past decade invoking shades of some of music’s most enduring bands while somehow succeeding in adding their own flavor to the mix as well.  While there’s a tendency to want to refer the latest whatever as someone’s ‘best’, sometimes the observation actually fits.  The Haze represents Pulled Apart by Horses most realized effort yet, an album that rocks with a sense of swagger all the while never taking itself too seriously.

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