I first jumped aboard the AUDREY HORNE train with their last record, 2014’s Pure Heavy. And I am happy to report that said train is still running smoothly, as a little over three years later we’ve been treated to brand new disc Blackout (January 12, Napalm Records). The hooks are once again there in full force, the dual guitar attack is strong, and the overall vibe takes us back to the better days of rock and roll, that’s for sure. This is no-nonsense, no bullshit music that sounds even more glorious when cranked up to 11.
Songs like “This Man” and “Midnight Man” find that perfect balance between ye olde NWOBHM and good old fashioned MTV rock circa 1982, just the kind of stuff I’ve loved since I was eight years old. Opener “This Is War” has some heavy riffs and man, the twin guitar work from Thomas Tofthagen and Arve Isdal is goddamn fiery, plus the chorus is big! Throw in a super-sexy dual harmonized solo and your pants might just melt right off. Vocalist Torkjell Rød sounds large and in charge on this and every other track for sure.
“Audrevolution” starts off with bassist Espen Lien and drummer Kjetil Greve hitting hard and laying down a vicious groove and sonic canvas for the rest of the guys to paint on, while “Blackout” wouldn’t sound out of place on an old SCORPIONS record. This is by no means a bad thing, FYI. “Light Your Way” is one of those tunes that makes you wanna get in the car and floor it, consequences be damned; fuck it, they ain’t takin’ us alive! The throwback vibe is strong on “California”, and it’s one most of us will gravitate to because it reminds us of bygone days.
I also defy anyone to not get caught up in the dance floor swagger of “Satellite.” It even employs some cool synth in the background, and just like the rest of the tunes, the vocal harmonies are outstanding. “Naysayer” and “Rose Alley” provide a stellar one-two punch that closes the disc and make you feel like you’re front row at one of the band’s shows. Such is the energy that comes from a group like this.
Overall this is another great record from AUDREY HORNE. This band is so much friggin’ fun, and every time you press PLAY on Blackout I guarantee you’ll want to hear it again and again. Do yourself a favor and go get this one on release day. Then grab yourself a case of beer and your favorite liquor, crack ‘em open, line up the shots, throw ‘em back, and have a fucking ball. After all, you deserve it!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Rose Alley”, “This Man”, “Naysayer, “This Is War”, “California”, “Satellite”