Monday, 21 January 2013

Audrey Horne - "Youngblood" (Album Review)

By: Hobo Sapien

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 4/1/2013
Label: Napalm Records




This record has brought the best bits of the hard rock kicking and screaming into the present day. For any self respecting rock fan out there this is required listening. Stick this in your CD player and it’s going to be a while before it comes back out!

“Youngblood” CD//DD//LP track listing

1) Redemption Blues (4:44)
2) Straight Into The Grave (3:50)
3) Youngblood (4:44)
4) There Goes A Lady (3:52)
5) Show And Tell (4:48)
6) Card With The Devil (4:08)
7) Pretty Little Sunshine (3:48)
8) The Open Sea (4:24)
9) This Ends Here (3:51)
10) The King Is Dead (5:13)

The Review

Hailing from Bergen, Norway come Audrey Horne. They released their first record in 2005 and “Youngblood” is their third full-length release. This is their first release with new label Napalm Records and new direction for the band. Members are also involved in projects such as Sahg, Enslaved and Deride. Do not be confused, Audrey Horne shirks off its black metal chains and play a familiar but refreshing blend of 70’s rock, hard rock and prog.

“Youngblood” pulls together a wealth of experience from its members but still sounds fresh. There are no filler tracks here. Monster choruses, twin guitar magic, air guitar hero solos and driving rhythms are served up in plentiful supply. Now that the golden days of classic rock are long gone there’s a definite line between imitation and exhaustion. “Youngblood” sprints along this knife-edge barely pausing for breath, a risk that has definitely paid off!

Singer Toschie’s vocals are bold without being overbearing, strong without being overpowering and instantly relatable. Guitar work is superb across the entire album. Riffs you long to jam along with. The drums and bass work flawlessly to give an excellent sense of momentum throughout, never once feeling unbalanced. Even though this is my first experience of the band, they feel like a band I’ve known all my life. Definitely a product of their influences.

Opener 'Redemption Blues' begins with classic twin guitar melody, setting the scene for the 40 minutes to come before charging into an uptempo Thin Lizzyan verse. Perfect. Catchy chorus, bass solo verse, chewy phasered guitars and bridge later comes the guitar onslaught. Think Baroness, the Sword, Mastodon even.  Most of my enjoyment from this album came from the constant twisting and turning of riffs rhythms and ideas. Here’s a few of the highlights to be found in the journey ahead.

'Youngblood', the title track opens with a stand out riff. It sums up the feel of the album, a marriage of old styles and new ideas. One of the stronger tracks and reminiscent of a host of by gone bands. Definitely some similarities to Kansas and Thin Lizzy in here.

'There Goes a Lady' is a head nodding stomper of a track, I’ll confess to singing along in the car to this one. Definitely one for the air guitarists out there and the guitar tone is straight out of the textbook. Kudos for the key change in the chorus too. Nice.  'Show and Tell' has yet another classic rock guitar master riff but hats off to the keyboard work towards the end of the track. If you ever wanted a song to play on your keytar, you found one.

'The Open Sea' has a brilliant other worldly feel to the track. A seamless blend of alt rock guitar and classic rock chord blasting.  'This Ends Here' is a rousing call to arms closing the back end of the album. Chasing guitars and floating vocal melodies bring us back to the core of what Audrey Horne have set out to achieve here. 

'The King is Dead' showcases each element of the band and is a great finish to such a refreshing record. Memorable vocal harmonies, great dynamics, acoustic guitars and soaring guitar leads signal the end of perhaps their best work to date.

By their own admission Audrey Horne “wanted to make an even better Classic Rock album” This record has brought the best bits of the hard rock kicking and screaming into the present day. For any self respecting rock fan out there this is required listening. Stick this in your CD player and it’s going to be a while before it comes back out!

“Youngblood” is available here

Band info: Facebook 

2 comments:

Arthur Simonyan said...

Very nice album!

NurdNook said...

Love the band, and great review! Not to split hairs, but this is their fourth Full-Length ... after No Hay, Le Fol, and Self-Titled. Great stuff!