Pulled Apart By Horses’ Track-By-Track Guide To ‘Tough Love’

Leeds rockers Pulled Apart By Horses have spent the last year crafting their second full length album ‘Tough Love’. With the help of producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters/Pixies), they’ve made a barnstormer of a rock record. Below, the band’s bassist Rob Lee gives NME a track by track guide to his band’s second album

This was one of the first ones that we wrote for the new album. It’s a really immediate song and it’s a bridge from the stuff off our first album to what we’re doing now. It was an easy choice for a single as it’s so direct and in your face and aggressive. We’ve road tested it a lot and it’s got a great reception so it’s great one to start the record with.

‘Wolf Hand’
The riff for this has been kicking around for a long time and Tom [Hudson – Vocals/Guitar] would always be playing it at soundcheck and after a year of touring and messing around, it’s grown into a new song. Lyrically, it’s basically “When I was a kid, I was a dick, but nothing changes“. I guess getting older is a theme of the album. It’s us saying “We’re still immature dickheads, but we’re moving on”. Kind of.

‘Shake Off The Curse’
I wrote the lyrics for this one. It was basically inspired by people who are always telling you that you’ll never make it as a band. We had the music for a long time before we had any lyrics. We practiced this for ages; got the mood right and the lyrics didn’t get written until a month before we went in to record it.

‘Epic Myth’
This is a really cool one. It kind of came out of a rehearsal session, just out of thin air really, it’s a good example of the entire band working together and coming up with something. The lyrics are inspired by this horror film called Suspiria, which is this incredibly atmospheric 1970s Italian film and which we watched in the van a lot on tour. The song has this big kind of epic feel to it, so we thought the idea of the film went well with that for the lyrics.


‘Some Mothers’
This is a bit of a weird one. This beat out a track called ‘PWR’, which we all thought was pretty much nailed on to be on the album. We needed a driving, punk tune and ‘Some Mothers’ is that kind of tune, a real tear your face off track. It jumps out and kicks you in the teeth. The lyrics are very direct, but they’re a great example of how tongue in cheek we can be. In fact, there’s a line on there, which goes “My tongue’s so far in my cheek I can feel it ripping through my skin“. There’s a lot more lyrical sarcasm on this record.

‘Night Of The Living’
This is another one with a horror film kind of atmosphere, but it’s us having fun with that. It’s kind of us joking about people being scared to go outside and just being terrified of the general public. We wrote this during this really productive spell we had, we locked ourselves away for about four months and had a real hardcore writing session, which went write up until pre-production. This came out of that.

‘Wildfire, Smoke & Doom’
I wrote the lyrics for this one. I had this little bit of writer’s block and this is a call to arms to get over that. It’s got a real urgency to it and it came together quickly. It worked almost instantly and it’s got a great drive to it.

‘Bromance Ain’t Dead’
This is our romantic ode to each other. Tom wrote this and when he first brought it in it sounded like Status Quo! It’s got a real rock n’roll vibe, but with a Pulled Apart By Horses twist on it. When you tour together for so long and literally spend every second with these other people, obviously there are times when you love each other and time’s when you hate each other and want to kill each other, so this is our ode to the good bits.

‘Give Me A Reason’
This is other side of all that. Although the music’s been around for a while, it was Tom’s tune and it’s got this really aggressive swagger to it. I really don’t want to ask Tom what the lyrics are about, I’m terrified it’s about one of us and him getting something off his chest. I’m going to leave it like that, I don’t want to pry.

‘Degeneration Game’
This has been kicking around for a bit, but it’s a different style for us. We talked about it and we actually decided that because it’s different and doesn’t sound like what we normally do, it should go on the album for that very reason. The lyrics were a bit last minute and were actually written at the same time as the riots. We were holed up in Wales watching the TV and it was unbelievable to watch it all kicking off. It’s got this strange game show swing to the song, but it’s about chaos descending on the world.

‘Everything Dipped In Gold’
This had to go on the end. It’s the heaviest song we’ve ever written, but not in terms of power. It’s kind of like a big ‘sigh’ at the end of the album. Lyrically, it’s us taking stock about the years we’ve had in the band and it’s got this really pretty ending, which is a big step for us. We’ve been a ‘kick you in the balls’ band, but we want to show what else we can do.

‘Tough Love’ is out on January 23.