Pulled Apart By Houses: “Reality Cheques” album review – fresh and lean return as band scales back


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Rating: 4 out of 5.

The fat trimmed. A new record label signed. Does this look to be a fully reformed Pulled Apart By Houses?

After a period of rest and reflection from the carnage of fourth, The Haze brought with it in 2017, the Leeds quartet enchanted a far more pulled back and raw set-up for their fifth studio release, hotly-anticipated 70’s garage-rock Reality Cheques.

We headed to the Nave studio in Leeds off the back of that tour and captured the tracks live, tour tight and locked in!”

With a mindset of delivering songs that empowered a more direct decisiveness behind it, the fifth instalment sees a change to the bands’ seemingly trademark staple amongst the obelisk of UK hard rock/post-punk. The biggest change in the band’s approach to date sees Hudson ditching his guitar and focusing solely on vocals—their trademark duelling guitars may have been a signature of PABH’s sound across their previous four albums – but cutting their line up back to one guitar, bass, drums and vocals has almost certainly given the band a refreshed, leaner feel.

This can be seen no less on album opener, Pipe Dream. An unnerving introduction through its seemingly swampy build-up, it blasts into Hudson screeching WAKE UP DREAMERS! a swift reminder of exactly what – and who – you’re really listening to.

A voiced frustration of issues that aren’t really issues, lead single, First World Problems is a statement of intent, where second follow-up single Rinse and Repeat comes to a-head. Inspired by Ziggy Stardust waiting in line at the Job Centre, it echoes the rolling conveyer belt in the music industry, rinse and repeat/I don’t wanna be one of the forgotten/rinse and repeat/keep me standing tall when I’m at the bottom.

This was swiftly followed up with Sleep In Your Grave, with a taste of an odd-time signature and a sucker-punch riff to boot, it’s certainly very grunge in its sound, as it makes up just over two minutes of the records’ runtime.

What comes next, is a guttural menace of psychedelic power with Devil Inside, Rat Race and Positive Place, as they try to outdo one another on ferocity. Fear Of Missing Out, the final contender in the record, is a 6-minute rise-and-fall stinger that would handsomely fit into a mind-bending horror. Through the thick of it, it’s very “Horses,” and is a full roundabout venture back to their self-titled debut back in 2010.

Less so a gang, and more a dysfunctional family, Pulled Apart By Horses is a name that is certainly not lost in the sphere of the UK hard rock scene, with a chaotic ecosystem of reckless tours up and down the country … – all the while embracing the sheer thrill and love of pumping out music.

“Our musical tastes change monthly, never mind over the course of the years, so we are never going to be the kind of band who’d do the same album every time,” says vocalist Tom Hudson of their evolution. “We’ve always been that band that are ‘too heavy for the indie kids, and too indie for the heavy kids’ in industry terms, but it’s quite cool that people don’t really know where to put us, because it means no-one can easily slap a genre name upon us. Now we have the freedom to just be who we are.”

Brazen with fresh perspectives into the new year of 2022, they are defining their sound one etched guitar lick at a time. In line with some pivotal summer features across 2000 Trees and TRUCK Festival, the band have also recently announced an extensive tour of October UK headline dates, in lieu for Reality Cheques. Seen by many as one of the alternative acts emphatic when live, this is not one to miss:

Pulled Apart By Horses Live Dates:

9/29/22 Hull Adelphi
10/1/22 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
10/2/22 Liverpool EBGB’s
10/4/22 Manchester Factory
10/5/22 Huddersfield Parish
10/6/22 Glasgow Broadcast
10/7/22 Sunderland Pop Recs
10/12/22 Cambridge Portland Arms
10/13/22 St Albans The Horn
10/14/22 Bridgwater Cobblestones
10/15/22 Norwich Waterfront Studio
10/20/22 Stoke Underground
10/21/22 Birmingham Asylum
10/23/22 Bristol Rough Trade
10/24/22 Swansea Bunkhouse
10/27/22 Milton Keynes The Craufurd Arms
10/28/22 London The Garage
10/29/22 Ashford The Glass House
10/30/22 Brighton The Hope & Ruin

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