AUDREY HORNE – Youngblood
It’s difficult to calculate the number of album releases worldwide in the metal/ hard rock movement these days. I do know things have progressed exponentially with bands taking matters into their own hands with home studios and reasonably priced technology developments at their disposal. So for that, Audrey Horne, I apologize that despite the critical accolades bestowed upon your previous three albums, "Youngblood" represents my first foray into your discography. Sometimes the best acts slip through the cracks: but I can make up for lost time and track down their earlier efforts, as this is an instantaneous, bubbly winner that should have multi-generational appeal.
Groovy in a 70’s Thin Lizzy/ UFO manner rhythmically, with vocals bluesy and emotional, songs like "Redemption Blues" and the title track (with its early 90’s Trouble main guitar riff) just lob hook after hook at you that much like a upper tier prize fighter you can’t help but be bowled over. Even when the band slow down with an organ-filled/ brass instrument accented anthem like "There Goes a Lady", the bluesy stair step descending verse guitar chords and gang-like chorus should once again develop whistles and healthy hand claps. Stripped down to the essential parts, these 10 songs flow quicker than anticipated, another delight as it proves Audrey Horne excels in arranging and songwriting to the hilt. Current favorites include the harmonica infused, groove swinging "Show and Tell" as well as the darker, Faith No More-ish "The Open Sea" that contains this slower, hypnotic vocal melody from Toschie that mesmerizes.
With a new record label behind them, the hopes are high that Audrey Horne will make even more of an international breakthrough than they’ve already achieved. Some may think this is another act that recycles the 70’s: I disagree. Elements of stoner rock, hard rock, twin guitar metal a la Judas Priest, and even a twinge of doom infiltrate the band’s style, and as such they are not just one of the best groups from Norway- they are one of the best hard rock bands international going.
Topped off with strange cover art (love the shades of blue, yellow and red as well as the five headed approach), "Youngblood" should be an easy platter to get any hard rock party started- and keep your guests air guitaring and fist pumping ‘til the end.