It’s hard not to love Pulled Apart By Horses. They’ve always had this happy go lucky attitude that has made them true treasures of the UK rock scene. Even when original drummer Lee decided to leave the band at the end of 2014, it didn’t seem to phase them and they’ve continued to work hard and give it both barrels. So, it’s with great pleasure that I’m sat here with their fourth long player in my hands, ready to blow my speakers out!
With their previous effort ‘Blood‘, they concentrated more on songwriting and made an album that had big hooks but also had a lot of darkness. On ‘The Haze‘, they tear the rule book up once again to return with a straight up garage-rock record backed with a psychedelic edge, a punkish snarl and tones of pop sensibilities. It’s like they’ve taken the energy of their early records and combined it with the songwriting skills picked up on recent material to create this wonderful multi-colour explosion of light!
From the very off, PABH waste no time and hit us hard with pretty much 12 tracks of jacked up rock. From the mile a minute fuzz punk attitude of ‘The Big What If‘ and ‘Neighbourhood Witch‘ to the swagged out power grooves of ‘Hotel Motivation‘ and ‘Prince Of Meats‘, it’s all thriller no filler. In fact, the whole record barely takes a moment to rest, it seems like they’ve gotten back to the e-number induced giddiness that they were hopped up on on their debut. New drummer Tommy fits in well as he helps to tighten up the screws and solidifies the grooves in tracks like ‘Moonbather‘ and the superb ‘What’s Up Dude‘. It’s clear what the intention of this album is; to make you move.
Sonically, The Haze has some cool ideas. I like how the songs are pretty instant in their delivery but they’ve messed about with weird pedals and vocal effects to bring a more expansive tone to the songs. I think it helps lift them into this euphoric psych-like vibe; closing track ‘Dumb Fun‘ is a prime example of this. I do think that the guitars could do with being cranked up in places just because of how much this band rip live, but the performances still carry this amped up attitude that you know is just gonna blow heads off when they hit the stage.
Although I’d say The Haze is their most accessible record, it never feels like the band have deliberately ‘gone pop’ to create a wider appeal and it seems like a natural progression from Blood. I’ll admit, there’s a few tracks on here that I just felt weren’t strong enough on first listen but the more I listened, the more I felt the energy and spirit behind them. I kind of felt like they’d lost that punk spirit a little on the last album in places, but to me The Haze sounds like a band refreshed, with a spring in their step.
For you skeptical older fans, you may not find a bunch of riff heavy monsters here but what you will find is a hyped up rock band having fun writing mosh pit friendly pop songs and I have no doubt that The Haze will be your ‘get pumped’ soundtrack of 2017.