Live Review: Pulled Apart By Horses, That F***ing Tank, and Mean Right Hook
Venue: The Jericho Tavern, Oxford
Date: 1 October 2009
Having never been to The Jericho Tavern and only heard of Pulled Apart By Horses through recommendations of close friends, I was intrigued as to see what this night could offer. I was not disappointed, the gigs held at the Jericho certainly are something special and I recommend checking them out in the near future. Not only did I get to see the hardcore pioneers Pulled Apart By Horses, I was treated to all-star line up with each band leaving me wanting more and more.
1st Band: Mean Right Hook
An original drum and bass sound came from Mean Right Hook. I mean to say that there is a bassist and a drummer and there is no confusion about the sound – a kind of D.I.Y hardcore that is all raw energy. The drummer doubles up as lead vocalist and holds the crowd from his rudimentary drum kit (snare, bass drum and cymbals). there were moments of tender harmonies on their track ‘Breakfast of Champions’ which showed that they can do the soft stuff as well as the hard stuff; and make no mistake about it they can do the hard stuff. The opening lines were a guttural wrench that could be heard from the toilets one story down. Mean Right Hook combined the best parts of aggression and melancholy; although it was a bit rough around the edges it lent itself to the style of music and gave it the air of a band who have come straight from playing their garage to the gig. (Note to fans: this was their first gig.)
2nd Band: That F***ing Tank
That F***ing Tank are a hard band to review with their complex rhythms that remind me of Death From Above. The two piece (guitarist and drummer) had some awesome riffs and rhythms that wanted to give the crowd something to sink their teeth into. However without a lead singer a lot of their songs, for me, feel short of the mark. There was no personalisation of the songs; no moments that you could tell your friends about. These moments when a song gets stuck in your head and you keep repeating the same lyrics to yourself over and over are what makes you want to go back again and again. Without it you’re left with a sound track to a gig instead, but a good soundtrack none the less.
Headliner: Pulled Apart By Horses
The performance was not one that you could sit at the back of the room and absorb as a spectator; you needed to be up front. Agitators supplying the band with the energy and noise that a good crowd can offer, we were there. The songs were of a breakneck pace with the drummer and lead guitarist going a hundred miles-an-hour while the bass and rhythm just kept the insane tempo going. The two guitarists leapt into the crowd dictating the mosh pit around them as they squealed and plucked their way through a particular anthem.
It was an intense gig; the personality of the venue (small and intimate) and the intensity of Pulled Apart By Horses made a memorable gig, one of those gigs where the band are playing a special tribute to the fans that could make it. I may be romanticising that somewhat, but the feelings remain the same. The way Pulled Apart By Horses played made you believe that it was an important gig. We believed.