Pulled Apart by Horses - Blood

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2014-09-02

Pulled Apart By Horses, as the name suggests, don’t attack their craft with subtlety. Blood is their third album. They are purveyors of truculent, rampageous cock-rock, pure and simple, playing with a seismic intensity down to the pith and marrow. Uncompromising, lacerating stuff.

 

They bear the tattoo of artists such as The Jesus Lizard and QOTSA, and I suppose are indebted to the whole Seattle scene circa the early 1990s. In fact, singer Tom Hudson has something of the authoritative baritone of Cobain, but also the menace and cynicism of Howard Devoto.

 

I really wanted to hate these guys, with their major label production standards and ringing cash-register budgets, producing Sam Raimi style film clips, supposedly referencing Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master on 'Hot Squash', the opening track about the dire consequences of cult affiliations. Also, what’s with stupid song titles like 'ADHD in HD' and 'Skull Noir'?

 

Good rock music, though, will always bypass disbelief about such idiosyncrasies. It's been a while since I’ve bounced off the walls in ode to my body slammin’ days. If only I retained some of the plasticity I used to have, I could’ve listened to the whole album without a break in the hot tub. It was never like that with Dead Kennedys and Magazine. Sigh.

 

Anyway, these guys, for all their commercial foibles and bluster and misplaced art school nonsense (what’s with the gory brain-matter metaphors on the 'Lizard Baby' video?), play genuinely good hard-rock with a gravitas which is never too cloying. I think they might have a sense of humour, but they’re not the kind of band deserving of literary dissection. I’ll leave that to the professors of asymmetrical thinking over at Pitchfork. What I can say is there are themes of alienation, sublimation and dying an emotional death - you know, just your typical run through the latest edition of DSM-5.  

 

In any event, I reckon I can sniff out a fraud. These guys are real heavy-weight contenders. They may not break any new ground but when I’m wandering around at the next festival trying to retrace hours of lost purpose, I’ll be glad to stumble upon these blokes. I reckon they’re probably hot property live. Guess you’d have to be around Leeds to understand or rebuke that proposition.

 

Core tracks on here are Bag of Snakes, where Tom is belting it out like therapeutic response to years of schoolyard bullying, and 'ADHD in HD' which might just describe the etiology perfectly. In fact, there’s not a weak number on here.

 

I’m experiencing writer’s block at the moment, and this knocked the bejesus out of me.

Not groundbreaking stuff but brilliantly executed underground rock.

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