Leeds based rabble-rousers Pulled Apart By Horses are one of those bands who fit into the "once seen, never forgotten" category. Having seen them on many occasions over the past year or so, my abiding memory of the four-piece came at last year's Latitude Festival when singer Tom Hudson aimed a volley of phlegm into the air that landed smack in the face of drummer Lee Vincent's girlfriend, innocently pressed against the barrier enjoying the show. Indeed its this inclination of not knowing what will happen next that makes Pulled Apart By Horses such an endearing spectacle, not to mention the fact they have a bucketload of tunes in their armoury too.
If they hadn't, then the initial flurry of "novel act" criticisms would be fairly justified. However there's more to this outfit than just a silly name and even more absurd titles (check out 'I've Got Guestlist To Rory O'Hara's Suicide' for starters). Having already released a couple of low key seven-inch singles, they've gradually built up a following largely due to the ferocity of their live performances, but also to their punk/metal crossover that pays more than a slight homage to Seattle, yet sounds adeptly English all the same.
Having recently inked a deal with established London independent Transgressive, 'Pulled Apart By Horses' quickly found itself high on the radar as one of 2010's most anticipated debuts, and it doesn't disappoint from start to finish. In fact, if there was ever going to be one concern about this album it was whether or not the foursome plus producer James Kenosha could translate any of the raucous energy from their live show onto record but what some may have considered a thankless task appears to have manifested itself quite smoothly.
Opener 'Back To The Fuck Yeah' may have been constructed purely off the back of 'Bleach' era Nirvana, but as with all of the songs here, there's a likeability factor that makes such minor inferences irrelevant. Former b-sides 'The Crapsons' and 'The Lighthouse' both fit in well here, dismissing any notions that they were merely throwaway pieces for the rarely played sides of the 45s they originally came with, while live staple and undoubted album highlight 'High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive' promises to ".make you dance with my balls on fire". Irresistible!
The aforementioned 'I've Got Guestlist To Rory O'Hara's Suicide' may namecheck the Grammatics bassist in the title, but its chaotic bursts of speed-fuelled punk combined with Sabbath-sized riffs is about as far away as is possible to get from their fellow Leeds experimentalists. 'Meat Balloon' and 'I Punched A Lion In The Throat' you'll already know and love, the former's Bill and Ted borrowing "Awesome! Radical! Totally bodacious" hookline marrying with the latter's "Maximum power!" boast probably offering a self-critical analysis of where Pulled Apart By Horses are at.
By the time the mammoth 'Den Horn' wraps 'Pulled Apart By Horses' up - think Queens Of The Stone Age at their most drawn out or a slightly more stoned Soundgarden and you're in the right vicinity - its clear that Pulled Apart By Horses have serious intentions to match their humorous side and as debut albums go, this is as fine a statement as you're likely to hear all year.