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Audrey Horne: Pure Heavy

Norwegian hard rockers revisit the past for sparkling fifth album

If you knew nothing of Audrey Horne’s backstory, you could easily imagine Pure Heavy forming the backbone of a killer Monsters Of Rock festival set circa 1984-5.

Even those on board for 2011’s Youngblood will be surprised at the quintet’s development here. Where Youngblood mined the 70s for inspiration, Pure Heavy has its heart, soul and twin harmony riffs rooted in the 1980s. Holy Roller is pure Van Halen (with an arpeggiated Scorpions mid-section), Out Of The City mimics Thin Lizzy much less self-consciously than Black Star Riders have ever done and Tales From The Crypt – which features the sound of a beer can fizzing open mid-song – could be Y&T or even early Def Leppard, with its glam-influenced stomp and ‘party hard’ ethos. All this could equate to Steel Panther minus the dick jokes, if Pure Heavy were not so obviously a genuine labour of love for all involved: the likes of Waiting For The Night and the rampaging Into The Wild (surely an outtake from Van Halen’s Fair Warning?) already sound like jukebox classics, and only the most cynical soul could fail to be stirred. Glorious.

Via Napalm

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.