Intensity in spades, enough gunpowder in its belly to render fireworks night cancelled, Pulled Apart By Horses’ monstrous new ‘Blood’ LP isn’t one for the faint-hearted. It also happens to be their biggest-sounding, most fully-realised yet, a further reminder that bands can go bigger and more bolshy in one swift move.
With the Leeds band taking over the DIY site today (1st September), Tom Hudson’s kindly extracted the new record song-by-song. Below, he’s offered up a swift, handy guide to the fantastic new album. While you’re at it, stream the record in full above his splendid prose.
1. Hot Squash
This song actually took quite a bit of time to work out and we left it and came back to it twice. It was a bit of a mess at first but we persevered with it and I’m so glad we did. It was definitely the right track to open the record with and first for people to hear. Bit of a kick in the teeth wake up call.
2. ADHD in HD
Heavily influenced by Nirvana and one of the first tracks where vocals were tamed slightly. The song title is a bit of a reference to our collective ADHD but the fact that its in High Definition means we’ve utilised this disorder for the greater good. We can see clearly now.
3. Lizard Baby
Lizard Baby was the first of the new songs that we were clearly excited about and we kind of decided very early on that this would be a good way to preview what we’ve done on Blood’ before people heard the record. This song was a big turning point in the whole writing process for the album.
4. You Want It
This had been floating around very early on when we wrote the first four tracks and survived the deadly chopping process. Its a nod to the debut record and feels like it will become a great live song in time. It has a ridiculous anti-solo where I locked myself in a small room and destroyed some light bulbs and a small amplifier. Destruction climax.
5. Hello Men
This is probably one of the biggest departures from previous albums. We got a real ’90s Smashing Pumpkins feeling from it then this kind of seasick ’80s verse and pre-chorus reared its head!
6. Skull Noir
This was one of the very first songs written for this album. I love how it switches from this big doomy intro to a bit of a rager. That kick drum sound in the verse was an addition by our mixer Anthony. It makes the song for me
7. Grim Deal
Lyrically this is my favourite PABH song. I think this was the first ‘slow’ song that we wrote, we actually originally demoed this one with MJ from Hookworms.
8. Bag Of Snakes
I’ve always played a big part in the arrangement of songs but this is the first one I’ve written for PABH! Its just a fast hardcore song really, I think it rips off ‘Bad Brains’ pretty good in the chorus!
Rob bought this song to the table. It reminds me of a mix between Bloc Party and Dinosaur Jr. I like it for it’s upbeat indie jangling verses that then lead you into a weird slacker / downer chorus unexpectedly. Rob says it’s “about a difficult relationship or friendship that you’re stuck in because you care too much to give in.”
10. Medium Rare
I guess this is like an argument between the youthful, foolish side of your mind and the older, wiser side. Being a contradiction, and the confusion with that. The struggles and clashes between personalities but being able to overcome things. It also works as a bit of a representation of the bands journey. “Tough Love” is mentioned as well as a few blood references, “Its in the blood”, “Now wash your hands of the blood.” Musically this was real fun was to write! It was the last song we wrote musically and lyrically for the album and almost didn’t make it on at one point as it wasn’t fully finished. I think I wrote and recorded the vocals in the last day we had in the studio! Lee and Rob really went to town on the beat & bass with this one. It’s full on hip hop in the verses.
11. Weird Weather
This ones a moody little creature. Lyrically I guess its just about the ups and downs of life. The verses are a lot more dragged and deflated and the choruses are more of an uplifting, motivational voice. I also remember around the same time as writing this I had just watched The Road so that might have had some influence on its bleakness. When recording this one in the studio we pulled this apart (no pun intended) quite a lot and changed the flow of it. James transcribed a guitar melody that he had to a Fender Rhodes for a colder, dreamlike sound. We also used a lot of Space Echo tape delay over the vocals & guitars in the verse to get it all tripped out!
12. Golden Monument
The lyrics to this were inspired by the oddball avant garde Italian / Mexican film Santa Sangre / Holy Blood by Alejandro Jodorowsky. In it there is this weird religious cult that have erected a golden temple where they worship a patron saint who was believed to be a girl who was raped and had her arms cut off in the same spot. There is a big pool inside the temple where the cult bath in that is believed to be the girl’s blood. The government / police turn up to bulldoze and destroy the place and the whole cult just stand there playing music while they do. When we recorded it we changed a lot of lead guitar lines to make it simpler and more in your face. We wanted to try and get our own version of that Smashing Pumpkins ‘wall of fuzz!’.
Pulled Apart By Horses’ new album ‘Blood’ is out now via Red UK.
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