You take all the best elements of late 70’s/early 80’s hard rock and heavy metal bands that featured a twin guitar attack and singers who could actually SING and what do you get? AUDREY HORNE, that’s what. Formed in Norway some years ago these guys have four albums under their belt, with new one Pure Heavy hitting the streets on October 7 here in the U.S. via Napalm Records. You ever hear a band name and just say to yourself, “What the Christ is this happy horseshit??” and pretty much dismiss them before hearing a single song? There’s a real danger of that with this band because, let’s face it, AUDREY HORNE is not exactly a name that cuts glass. That aside, I am sure glad I pressed PLAY when this showed up in my mailbox because they are fucking great and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on!
With what seems like an endless supply of hooks and good time guitar rock this band doesn’t let the party stop over the course of ten songs that are clearly suited for a cassette tape on the shelf at Sam Goody back in the day. One listen to opener “Wolf in My Heart” and you’ll see what I mean. Singer Toschie wraps his voice around a guitar lick that will make you sit up and beg thanks to the dual axe work of Thomas Tofthagen and Ice Dale. “Holy Roller” has a MAIDEN-meets-SABBATH quality to it and is a flat-out badass jam, nothing else need be said. Single “Out of the City” is a perfect summertime drinkin’ song for someone’s beach house with a cooler full of coldies, Espen Lien’s bass really thumping while drummer Kjetil Greve keeps it tight and works in some great fills.
It’s quite obvious that this is a band whose songs were born to be played in the live environment. The harmonized leads and catchy chorus of “Volcano Girl” are proof positive of this, as is the party vibe of “Tales From the Crypt” replete with an ode to “Sweet Leaf” early on. This is such a fun tune with its hand claps and chorus that stays with you. If you’re not up and moving by the time you reach this number, man I feel sorry for you. And if you’re not throwing the Devil Horns up in honor of this very DIO-esque song “Into the Wild” then shame on you, people. “Gravity” is probably the most 70’s track on the disc, and “High and Dry” is hands down the fastest and ballsiest, with dual guitar lines reminiscent of early Dickinson-era IRON MAIDEN.
“Waiting For the Night” has melody and catchiness for days and “Boy Wonder” closes the album with a hypnotic, yet still rockin’ feel that brings all the best elements of bands like THIN LIZZY to the forefront. I mean, there really aren’t enough good things I can say about Pure Heavy and AUDREY HORNE in general, but don’t take my word for it. Grab your copy and go to town!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM