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27th February 2012

Live: Pulled Apart By Horses @ Club Academy

Musically they’re an acquired taste, lyrically they’re completely absurd, but Pulled Apart by Horses are riotously good fun.

17th February 2012

Club Academy


The first time I saw Pulled Apart by Horses was at the Deaf Institute in June 2010, around the time they released their debut record. It remains one of the finest shows I’ve ever been to. On paper, it seems bizarre; their blend of alt-rock and post-hardcore and ridiculous lyrics make them sound as if they’re made up of The Jesus Lizard’s daft kid brothers, but therein lies the beauty – if nothing else, this band is very, very fun.

Back in town to promote their second release, Tough Love, and in a considerably bigger room, I had been harbouring concerns over whether eighteen months of hard touring and the move up to larger venues would have stripped away some of the ramshackle charm that had made that night at the Deaf Institute so memorable. The chaos that ensues during openening number ‘I Punched a Lion in the Throat’ immediately puts those fears to bed, with frontman Tom Hudson straight over the barrier to roar the nonsensical refrain ‘ultimate power! maximum life!’ with the sell-out crowd. It’s a mark of the band’s confidence, though, that they choose to open with probably their biggest fan favourite, and audience reaction appears to demonstrate that their faith in the newer material is well-placed; ‘Shake Off the Curse’, ‘Epic Myth’ and lead single ‘V.E.N.O.M.’ all successfully recreate the debut record’s winning combination of frenetic riffery and irresistible shoutalongs. Musically they’re an acquired taste, lyrically they’re completely absurd, but Pulled Apart by Horses are riotously good fun.

As far as I’m concerned, they can place the ‘Best Live Band in the Country’ award next to the one for ‘Best Band Named after a Medieval Execution Method’ on the mantelpiece. They’ve earned it.

Pulled Apart By Horses – V.E.N.O.M (live)

Joe Goggins

Joe Goggins

Music Editor.

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