Remember when life was all banging up the stairs, slamming the bedroom door to a Richter scale level, wondering curiously about what exactly a Brian Moloko was and why he had a paper bag on his head while morosely subsisting on a diet of Nirvana and freshly formed tears? No? Well you’ll probably enjoy Pulled Apart By Horses. In fact, you’ve probably been enjoying them since 2010 when their frenetic, speedy Biffy Clyro hi-jinks were first exposed on their eponymous debut. This second offering follows the same pattern of eyes down, cheap vodka chugged, lets rock ‘til we bleed attitude. The kind of super-revved up sound of youth awakening, wailing into the sunlight before picking up their jacket from the vomit encrusted sofa and heading home to a morning of Jeremy Kyle and a nice midday nap.
With a voice stuck mid-way between Geddy Lee and Kurt Cobain at his most abrasive (with a dash of the duck-like quacking), lead singer Tom Hudson screams through his quarter life crisis like a pre-menstrual Veruca Salt. Opening with ‘nothing ever seems to happen, nothing ever seems to change’ on the skittering ‘Wolf Hand’, he seems to encompass all the rolled-eyed weariness of your typical do-nothing teen but thankfully before all our sympathies are drained he proceeds it with the cheeky wink couplet of ‘when I was a kid I was a dick, but nothing changes’ making sure we know that tongues are firmly moulded into cheeks round their way.
It’s a welcome relief to find some humour and levity in amongst the angst as musically Pulled Apart By Horses are your typical testosterone smothered party band, the kind of thing Andrew WK would serve as an amuse bouche before the real teeth-smashing debauchery began. When they manage to dish out bubblegum silly guitar kicks such as the bone-headed ‘Bromance Aint Dead’ and ‘Night of the Living’ at such a clattering sub-metal Ramones pace it makes the rest of the album feel like a dismal, unnecessarily turgid trudge back through the early ’90s with only a sarcastic grin for company.