Norwegians Audrey Horne are now, somewhat incredibly, six albums old with the release of new record Blackout. I say incredibly, because I just can’t believe the band aren’t huge this far in to their career. When you consider what the likes of F**e F****r D***h P***h have done, sales wise (eyes mist over, looks into middle distance shaking head and smiling ruefully)…
Still, I’m sure the band aren’t that concerned about such things, as If there’s one thing that is certain about Audrey Horne it’s that they pretty much always ensure a good time for anyone joining their party, and it’s definitely worth checking in any negative vibes at the cloak room when you come across one of their albums.
Blackout is no different, seeing the band stick to their by now tried and tested mix of NWoBHM bangers (opening track This is War sounds like one of those Bruce Dickinson tracks from his solo albums when he was being more Maiden than Maiden) and eighties rock remembrance (the title track really does have a lot in common with Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot).
It’s exciting stuff and, to be honest, despite the high quality of musicianship and songwriting, it doesn’t take a lot of concentration to listen to. This is pure ear candy, straight to finish, the aural equivalent of a fast food binge without the uncomfortable bloating or acne. Some may find the band a bit twee at times – closing track Rose Alley almost veers over the line into pure Thin Lizzy tribute, if we’re being honest – but really the band has never purported to be anything other than a goodtime, anthemic rock n’roll band so what’s the problem?
For my money this album doesn’t quite attain the heights the band reached on 2013‘s Youngblood, but there is not a moment of filler or duff music on Blackout, so we’re dealing in incredibly small margins here; even the nod to poodle-era Whitesnake on This Man seems reasonable in the context of what’s going on, and if you don’t feel like doing some ridiculous dancing on a beer bottle-strewn bartop when you hear the irresistible strut of Audrevolution then I really don’t want you to speak to me ever again.
Still there? Good. Once you’ve cleared up the broken glass I’ll come with you down the record shop so you can pick up Blackout straight away.
Blackout is out now on Napalm Records.