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Album Review: The Haze by Pulled Apart By Horses

Leeds four-piece Pulled Apart By Horses release their fourth album The Haze on 17th March via Caroline International.  In 2015, following three acclaimed albums and literally hundreds of thrillingly visceral live shows since their inception in 2008, Pulled Apart By Horses took the decision to disconnect from the mainframe and to focus anew upon the soul of their band. Call it their own seven-year itch. Or, more accurately, a simple desire to fall in love all over again with the pure joy of making music.

“With our first album [2010’s self-titled Pulled Apart By Horses], there was no real consideration that this was going to be a full-time career for us, so making it was totally spontaneous and relaxed and fun,” explains bassist Robert Lee. “With [2012’s] Tough Love, we had to put more thought into everything, and find the time to write, so a lot of the work was done individually and then we pooled our ideas and worked on it as band. And with the third album [2014’s Blood], we were making a conscious effort to think about everything and really analyse what make good songs work. This time around we wanted to get back to that spontaneity of the first record, to just hang out and have fun and see what happened, so we wanted to take ourselves away from our usual practise room, find a new space, both literally and metaphorically, and just immerse ourselves in music for fun once again.”

“Basically,” says vocalist/guitarist Tom Husdon, “we wanted to go with our guts and fuck everyone else.”

In essence the band deliver up their most natural and energetic album since their debut. While the 2012’s Tough Love and 2014’s Blood were by no means bad albums, you could consider The Haze a return to form. It’s a return to their roots and it does them the world of good, it feels like a band doing what they love, unrestricted by expectation and having the freedom to do what comes naturally. There might not be quite the same bombastic energy of their debut, but they come close to it and mark our words it’s glorious.

The Haze is twelve tracks of whip-smart, unpredictable, fierce and sussed hardcore noise-pop, the sound of four friends getting wired on adrenaline, riffs, distortion and the sheer joy of locking into swaggering, dirty, demented rock ‘n’ roll grooves. From the eerie introduction of title track ‘The Haze’, through the noise pop of ‘Hotel Motivation’, the gritty rock swagger of ‘Prince of Meat’ to the riff out of closer ‘Dumb Fun’ this is Pulled Apart From Horses at their very best.

‘Prince of Meats’ and ‘Neighbourhood Witch’ standout as having the most natural Pulled Apart By Horses sound and energy, the former is especially worth of praise as it darts from hard riff to booming vocal in all the panache you’ve been begging for since their debut. ‘Lamping’ throws a curveball into the mix with its classic rock feel before ‘Flash Lads’ and ‘Moonbather’ return order and deliver up hardcore noise pop of the very highest standard.

With The Haze you feel like you’re reconnecting with you favoured version of the band. It’s familiar but distinctive enough for you to recognise that the band have poured everything they’ve learnt and experienced into this to make it such an excellent and formidable album. Look no further than the double header of ‘Brass Castles’ and ‘My Evil Twin’ for evidence that in The Haze the band have produced their best album to date.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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