Audrey Horne band photo

AUDREY HORNE – Youngblood

Audrey Horne - YoungbloodWhen you mention Norway and music in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind to most people is Black Metal. And rightfully so, because Black Metal bands are Norway’s biggest music export. Then it usually takes two seconds before people start to talk about arson, church burnings and murder. Audrey Horne is a Norwegian band and even though three out of four members have been in or are still in Black Metal bands such as Enslaved and Sahg, they are not a Black Metal band. The band formed in 2002, took their name from Sherilyn Fenn’s character in the TV series “Twin Peaks”, released their debut album in 2005 and is today a real band more than a side project which was the case in the beginning. On their first records, the band was more in the vein of a post grunge / hard rock band but after some changes in the member department they have also made a change within their music to a more classic rock / hard rock sound which started on their previous, self titled record from 2010. That leads us to today and their brand new album, called Youngblood.

On this album, the guys have gone all in when it comes to making a kick ass hard, classic rock album, wearing their influences way out on their sleeves still, without cloning anybody, showing everybody that originality isn’t that important, but writing good songs damn sure is. The opening track “Redemption Blues” really paves the way for the whole album, a kick ass track that mixes early Killers era Iron Maiden with Thin Lizzy, “Straight Into The Grave” is a rocker with a big Deep Purple feel and the title track sounds like a poppier Thin Lizzy with its twin guitar attack – this is nothing but brilliant! “There Goes A Lady” is total Kiss, but with a bluesier feel, “Cards With The Devil” is an awesome piece of late 70’s / early 80’s hard rock / pop tune with a magnificent groove and “Pretty Little Sunshine” is so catchy while rocking like crazy. But there are more to enjoy here, “The Open Sea” sounds like an edgier kind of Dio era Rainbow and “This Ends Here” is total Iron Maiden, only a bit more rock ‘n’ roll. There is even a “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” reference in the lyrics, going off on the “albatross” theme – very cool.

For someone like me, who grew up as a little kid in the 70’s and as a teenager in the 80’s, an album like this is like Christmas. As I said, I couldn’t care less if a band borrows (or steals or whatnot) a shitload from other bands as long as they do the part with heart, soul and conviction and this is exactly what Audrey Horne does. You can almost reach out and touch their love for this kind of music and when the musical skills and the performances are as good as they are on this album, I am so there, dude! Also, there is something so honest about this record, this is the real thing all the way through – it only takes one listen to make that a fact. I’m not sure how the members of the band value this project, but if my opinion would count for anything, my advice would be to make this band their number one priority, because the fact is, this band could – and should – be huge.  Me, I will be in the front row when they play Sweden Rock Festival this summer.

Jon Wilmenius (9/10)

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 Kind is Dead

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