Review: Audrey Horne – Blackout

Audrey Horne are at that point of their career where they know exactly what they are and intend to make the most of it. Six albums deep and no sign of stopping, the Norwegians are back with their biggest punch yet in the form of Blackout.

I’ve been a fan for years yet it’s only in the press release for the album where I learned the band’s namesake is from Twin Peaks. Then again, I never did watch it. Regardless, using a woman’s name for a band did stand out to me when I stumbled across them years back. After all, it worked for Alice Cooper…

They’ve not tried to re-invent themselves or create an album which is a progression. Instead, they stick firmly to what they know, adopting the AC/DC and Motörhead rule of thumb. And much like those two bands, Audrey Horne are very much hard rock with a more melodic slant yet you can hear the influence of both of those bands baked into their songs.

Blackout straddles that wonderful line of sounding modern yet classic with Deep Purple vibes on “Light Your Way”. Essentially, they take the swagger of those 70s bands, the venom and anger of NWOBHM and the flashy intricacies and choruses of its illegitimate younger brother, hair metal.

What Blackout has in common with NWOBHM is the lack of ballads. Much akin to AC/DC and Airbourne, they don’t go in for the slower numbers but they do switch the pace up with the funky “This Man” and “California”; the pedal still planted firmly to the floor. Other than that, it’s what you’d expect. And if it was any other way, you’d hit the delete button, rant on their Facebook that you’re never buying another piece of music from them and you miss the “old” band.

“Naysayer” is NWOBHM through and through whilst the title track has unabashedly taken cues from Thin Lizzy. Whilst it may seem like there are various vibes permeating through the album, each song is simply Audrey Horne. With a sound you can only get from dual Les Pauls, Blackout is modern hard rock at its finest. Alongside their own unique sound and having had more than enough time to refine it, they easily avoid the trappings of many modern hard rock bands.

Where other bands are raw and fuelled by youthful eagerness, Audrey Horne use the benefit of their experience to make something far more refined. It’s the sort of album you didn’t realise you wanted but now want nothing else.

Blackout is released 12th January 2018

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