The fourth studio album from Pulled Apart By Horses is here, two and a half years after the release of their last offering. This time around, the band are embracing a scuzzy, more punky kind of vibe- even more than fans may be used to from the Leeds rockers. This only makes their sound even more genre-bending, and this album full of oscillating switches and changes.
Opener The Haze sets the tone for this, the album of the same name, with vocalist Tom Hudson yelling ‘in a haaaaze again’ from the off, amid up-tempo guitars and an almost tangible hazy atmosphere. The Big What If has a little more kick to it than the latter, aided largely by the gang vocals that flesh it out. If any track on this album demonstrates the extent of their genre bending, then this is it, seemingly effortlessly rolling indie, hard rock, elements of metal and a touch of shoegaze all into one.
Hotel Motivation does exactly as its name states- it provides a punchy number with a DIY feel, and punky, borderline aggressive vocals. As Neighbourhood Witch and Lamping roll around, the album seems to lose its momentum, and the vigour present in the first half is somewhat lost for the moment. The former does offer a smattering of groove, however doesn’t feel as if it has quite as much substance to it as the other tracks. Lamping is the slower track on the album, offering a laid-back vibe with a definite Nirvana feel in places.
Flash Lads instils imagery of lad culture, not so much now but possibly in the 60s and 70s- it’s easy to imagine this track, in all its charm, making a fitting soundtrack for an English indie movie from this era. What’s Up Dude has a stomping, metal-ly edge to it; it’s sharp and the perfect setup for the under-two-minute romp of Brass Castles. Album closer Dumb Fun is all about jagged intros and spaced-out lyrics about getting high, while the bridge in a way encapsulates all of the elements of the album to bring things to an end in a roundabout way.
Pulled Apart By Horses are a band who are nearing a decade in the music industry. Throughout all their albums, they’ve explored an evolutions in their genre. However The Haze feels like a coming of age album; as if the band have dared venture out of their comfort zone a little further than normal. Their unique blend of genres works though, and through their experimentalism Pulled Apart By Horses remain, as ever, a true testament to the North’s indie music scene.