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I was first introduced to Norwegians Audrey Horne by the bass player of the band I’m in about two years ago when he lent me their first three albums which I have since bought. All of those albums, ‘No Hay Banda’ (2005), ‘Le Fol’ (2007) and ‘Audrey Horne’ (2010), show a band maturing and discovering new directions and I would recommend any of these to people who have yet to discover them. Initially labelled as alt-rock and post-grunge (although one of the few bands of those genres that I like), their style has mutated over the years to the point where, with fourth album ‘Youngblood’, they are almost a different band. That is no bad thing though because they have easily just released the best album of their career so far and one of the best sounding classic rock albums I’ve heard in quite a while.

Named after a character from that oh so wonderful series ‘Twin Peaks’, Audrey Horne are essentially a side project (their guitarists’ day jobs are with Enslaved and Sahg) although you certainly wouldn’t think that when listening to them. Considering that those bands meddle in much heavier realms, if you haven’t heard Audrey Horne before, you might be very pleasantly surprised. Imagine Deep Purple, U.F.O, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen & Black Sabbath together with Thin Lizzy dual guitars, Motorhead bass runs and a NWOBHM feel all mixed together with Audrey Horne’s own unique sound and you might be somewhere near what this sounds like.

Every track, from opener ‘Redemption Blues’ to closer ‘The King Is Dead’ is a winner, oozing style and quality. The bass and drum work is exemplary (this is how a rhythm section should work together), the twin guitars are very well suited and the vocals of lead singer ‘Toschie’ were made to fit this modern style of classic rock music. There are even a few brilliantly interwoven keyboard fills and Audrey Horne know exactly when to let the music breathe. You’ll be humming along to just about all of these songs the first time you hear them, but repeated listens reveal even more. I also have to mention ‘The Open Sea’, an absolute belter which is my favourite track here.

I do have two very tiny gripes. The main riff to ‘Cards With The Devil’ is virtually identical to Pantera’s ‘Psycho Holiday’ which does throw you although the song finds its own identity in the chorus. And, for a release this good, the band could have perhaps tried a little harder with the cover artwork which, to be fair, looks amateurish, but I am really being nitpicking with these. Audrey Horne deserves much wider publicity than they have achieved so far and ‘Youngblood’ must surely catapult them into the big league.
Napalm Records
Review by Rick Tilley
4th Feb 2013
1) Redemption Blues
2) Straight into Your Grave
3) Youngblood
4) There Goes a Lady
5) Show and Tell
6) Cards with the Devil
7) Pretty Little Sunshine
8) The Open Sea
9) This Ends Here
10) The King is Dead
"...they have easily just released the best album of their career so far ..."