A random winter morning of Sunday early this year, I was forwarded a list of albums I had to review for a Spanish rock magazine, my all time favorite one, Popular 1 Rock. Even though I had already noticed its years of glory were long gone, it had been one of the most important rock reference when I started in this terrific side of music, so writing something for it was kind of honor and pleasure. My first live show reviews, Justin Townes Earle and My Morning Jacket gigs in Stockholm, had been published, and reviewing some albums gave the chance to collaborate and have my words truly published on paper.
Reviewing albums is one of the most unfair, cold and music killer thing to do. You have to sum up the work of a band into 300 words, and you barely listen to the tracks 2-3 times. At the end of the day your perception is subjective and unreal, and depending on the popularity you enjoy, you might influence your readers a lot. What if you have to write about a death metal album? I’m not into death metal, in fact I hate that style, but sometimes you do what you gotta do and don’t complain. Again, it’s not fair.
When I write about the album of the week here, not distinguishing among new releases and old stuff, I don’t intend to write a review, but what the albums mean to me and the impact they have in my life. if I can convince to give them a try, I feel rewarded.
That Sunday afternoon, affected by massive hangover, after having lunch and sleeping siesta, I was more or less ready to start my task, and fortunately I decided to start with this Tough Love, second work recorded by a band from Leeds with a weird and interesting name: Pulled Apart By Horses.
I couldn’t have foreseen the explosion of this album right into my face, and had to listen to it the 5 times damn Spotify allowed me to simply put in order my ideas. So much energy is spread in each song, the first listenings of Tough Love are exhausting.
V.E.N.O.M, Wolf Hand and Shake off the Curse, the starters, are simply devastating. The intensity of the songs never low, but mayhem seems somehow eased a bit in Epic Myth and Give Me a Reason.
What’s their secret? Powerful riffs, repetitive chorus, a heavy rhythmic section, and the unique voice of Tom Hudson, histrionic and screeching. Such combination, with an outstanding and impressive live performances, make the career of these guys from Leeds absolute promising.
One of this latest generation of hardly to label bands, which have been absorbing metal, punk rock, hardcore, alternative styles and even experimental waves to eventually deliver their own proposal. It’s impossible not to think of At The Drive-In, AFI, Fugazi or Biffy Clyro, a band they’ve been tour supporting already.
It’s been more than 6 months since I had to write the review of Tough Love, I rated 7/10. My opinion has slightly changed, bearing in mind it was worth attending one of their live shows. If I had to rate it again, I’d rise the mark to 8-8,5 honest. Songs which blew my mind then, have been substituted by others I enjoy more. You know how it works, it all depends on your emotional state, not only music, but anything you have to perceive with your senses. Your mood is essential for assimilating everything, thus, I insist, I wouldn’t trust proper album reviews at the time to judge an album. Better to check what current people might have to say, and of course, now that we have sources to listen to albums before purchasing them, the best you can do is give them a try, better said, several tries, yourself.
Once this said I might not be trustworthy any longer, just to convince you Tough Love is a good album worth listening, I’ll confess I purchased my own copy months ago. ;-)