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Album review: Pulled Apart By Horses - 'Pulled Apart By Horses' (Transgressive)

Leeds foursome gallop in, all demented guns blazing, and successfully capture their inherent live mayhem

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8 / 10 Pulled Apart By Horses’ incendiary live shows have cost them teeth, chunks of flesh and affordable insurance premiums. They’ve also landed them with one peculiar headache. The Leeds screech-lords’ trail of messy chaos and their noble, reckless dedication to the cause has led to them inheriting the same ‘best live band in Britain’ tag that once plagued Gallows (though unlike Carter and the boys, PABH come splattered with healthy dollops of heart and humour).

The problem? That tag is a backhanded way of implying that nobody is much interested in their records. And for a band that admits to forming simply to be a “Jesus Lizard rip-off”, this debut has more to prove than most. Tellingly it arrives almost two years after they broke out, yet happily, the record arrives ready to wreak mayhem on all that stands before it.

In that sense, it’s very nearly perfect. It’s a hard trick to capture that live lightning in a bottle while not sounding like an under-produced mess. But scene go-to-guy James Kenosha has managed it, and that ecstatic plane is exactly where this record finds itself. It’s a Technicolor riot of bizarro hardcore, like the Loony Tunes Tasmanian Devil ploughing The Misfits’ tourbus through Reading’s Lock Up Stage, licking its lips. Yet crucially there are songs within the chaos; ‘Yeah Buddy’’s ecstatic pop chorus is as different from ‘Get Off My Ghost Train’’s punishing metal as it is from ‘Back To The Fuck Yeah’’s raping of FM rock. It should be a mess, but it succeeds through sheer confidence in its own stupidity. ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’? That’s exactly the sort of thing this record would do. And only a band this dementedly shameless, or shamelessly demented, could immortalise the bass player from Grammatics in a song called ‘I’ve Got Guestlist To Rory O’Hara’s Suicide’.

You should cherish them while you can. It seems increasingly unlikely they’ll make it through their next tour alive.

Dan Martin

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