Sound — 7
"Tough Love" is the second offering from the Leeds, UK based four piece. The quartet have engineered a sound that draws from a number of styles, such as grunge, hardcore and alternative rock. Their previous self titled album contained songs which are sure to be regarded as classics by their fans, even after more releases, however the album was fairly inconsistent at times. This is hardly a problem with this new record. Quality is evident throughout the album, from the riff heavy "V.E.N.O.M." to the groove filled closer "Everything Dipped In Gold". Catchy yet powerful guitar work is all over this, with the bass also packing a meaty tone. Each track flows nicely and they fit together well, with a distinct sound through each song. Opener and first single "V.E.N.O.M." is without doubt a highlight, with catchy riffs leading into a fast paced chorus. "Epic Myth" displays great use of dynamics, with a mid paced intro and a huge chorus preceding some excellent lead guitar towards the end of the track. "Some Mothers" is also truly fantastic, propelled by its sheer energy. "Bromance Ain't Dead" is a further high point, and is fairly reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age at their best.
Lyrics — 8
As is standard for PABH, many of the lyrics are quite odd and it can be difficult to get a clear picture of what each song is based upon. "Epic Myth" explores some kind of haunted house scenario with lines such as "one you're inside, you'll never leave". The band have often stated that many of their lyrics are inspired by classic horror films. "Night Of The Living" also appears to follow this kind of theme. Vocalist Tom Hudon's vocals are often quite unconventional, and a mixture of high pitched screams along with some singing is used. His voice is nonetheless very distinctive and entertaining to listen to.
Overall Impression — 8
My favourite songs on this album would without doubt have to be "V.E.N.O.M.", "Shake Off The Curse", "Epic Myth", "Some Mothers" and "Bromance Ain't Dead". Overall I really like the guitar work and the urgency that runs through most of the tracks, I feel "Tough Love" is an album which definitely stands out as something quite different within the current rock scene.