Audrey Horne: Youngblood

Bergen-based rockers break their chains

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It’s not often you get the chance to write the words ‘named after a character from Twin Peaks and big in Bergen’, though that isn’t the exclusive reason why we’re pleased that Norwegians Audrey Horne have come back and released their fourth album.

Let’s not pretend here; they initially garnered some fans for their seemingly effortless ability to ape early Alice In Chains albums and the hard rock end of Queen Of The Stone Age’s musical spectrum. It was a neat trick, but it was, ultimately, just a trick.

Happily, with Youngblood, the band have dispensed with the bluesy doom of both those bands and opted to play classic hard rock instead. It sounds more sincere somehow, full to the brim with Thin Lizzy guitar parts, faintly histrionic vocals, stabs of Hammond organ and a general upswing in tone and mood that recalls Deep Purple as much as it does Iron Maiden.

This Ends Here is a nod to Steve Harris’s rumbling basslines, but it’s not quite the blatant homage to other bands that so often coloured their previous records. That said, Redemption Blues owes more than a passing nod to Transylvania, but it’s a momentary blip before the chorus breaks open satisfyingly like a dam giving in to a tidal wave.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.