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Review: ‘Reality Cheques’ by Pulled Apart By Horses

Pulled Apart by Horses

The fat trimmed. A new record label. This looks to be a fully reformed Pulled Apart By Horses.

After a period of rest and reflection from the carnage that came with the release of 2017’s album ‘The Haze’, the Leeds quartet have gone for a far more pulled back and raw set-up for their fifth studio release, the hotly-anticipated 70’s garage-rock-inspired ‘Reality Cheques’.

We headed to the Nave studio in Leeds off the back of that tour and captured the tracks live, tour tight and locked in!”

With a mindset of delivering songs that empowered a more direct decisiveness behind it, their fifth instalment sees a change to the bands’ seemingly trademark staple amongst the obelisk of UK hard rock/post-punk. The biggest change in the band’s approach to date sees Hudson ditching his guitar and focusing solely on vocals. Their trademark duelling guitars may have been a signature of PABH’s sound across their previous four albums, but cutting their line up back to one guitar, bass, drums and vocals has almost certainly given the band a refreshed, leaner feel.

This can be seen no less on album opener, ‘Pipe Dream’. An unnerving introduction through its seemingly swampy build-up, it blasts into Hudson screeching “WAKE UP DREAMERS!” a swift reminder of exactly what – and who – you’re really listening to.

A voiced frustration on addressing issues that aren’t really issues, lead single, ‘First World Problems‘ is a statement of intent and very much harks back to classic PABH’s ‘The Big What If’. Second follow-up single ‘Rinse and Repeat‘ delivers more of the same, inspired by Ziggy Stardust waiting in line at the Job Centre, it echoes the rolling conveyer belt in the music industry: “rinse and repeat/I don’t wanna be one of the forgotten/rinse and repeat/keep me standing tall when I’m at the bottom”.

This is swiftly followed up with ‘Sleep In Your Grave‘, with a taste of an odd-time signature and a sucker-punch riff to boot, it’s certainly very grunge in its sound, and makes up just over two minutes of the records’ runtime. It certainly feels like the band at their most dark. 

What comes next, is a guttural menace of psychedelic power with ‘Devil Inside‘, ‘Rat Race’ and ‘Positive Place‘, as each track tries to outdo the next on ferocity. ‘Fear Of Missing Out‘- the final track on the record- is a 6-minute rise-and-fall stinger that would handsomely fit into a mind-bending horror. Through the thick of it, it’s very “Horses,” and is a full roundabout venture back to their self-titled debut back in 2010.

Less a gang, more a dysfunctional family, Pulled Apart By Horses is a name that is certainly not lost in the sphere of the UK hard rock scene. Known for a chaotic ecosystem of reckless tours up and down the country, all the while embracing the sheer thrill and love of pumping out music.

“Our musical tastes change monthly, never mind over the course of the years, so we are never going to be the kind of band who’d do the same album every time,” says vocalist Tom Hudson of their evolution. “We’ve always been that band that are ‘too heavy for the indie kids, and too indie for the heavy kids’ in industry terms, but it’s quite cool that people don’t really know where to put us, because it means no-one can easily slap a genre name upon us. Now we have the freedom to just be who we are.”

Brazen with fresh perspectives into the year of 2022, they’re defining their sound one etched guitar lick at a time. As well as summer features across 2000 Trees and TRUCK Festival, the band have announced an extensive tour of the UK. Seen by many as one of the alternative acts emphatic when live, this is not one to miss!

Get tickets HERE.

Get the album ‘Reality Cheques‘ released via Alcopop! Records HERE.


Follow Pulled Apart by Horses on Their Socials


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