Audrey Horne – Blackout

Named after a character from David Lynch’s hit TV show Twin Peaks and hailing from Bergen, Norway are Audrey Horne. Blackout (Nuclear Blast), their first album in four years, follows on from the previous record Pure Heavy (Napalm) in its happy embracing of classic rock and metal influences, much like contemporaries Black Star Riders and Deadlord. A far cry from the Marilyn Manson and Alice in Chains friendly, jagged grunge of their 2005 debut No Hay Banda (Candlelight); Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy and Pat Benatar are now the primary reference points.

It is an eclectic mix of Seventies and Eighties rock, with the melodic Number Of The Beast (EMI) era guitar harmonies of ‘This is War’ and the powerful Kjetil Greve drumming and Deep Purple like potency of ‘Light Your Way’ showing the better, heavier side. The same goes for lead single ‘Audrevolution’, a snappy, cowbell-infused slice of no-nonsense Rock n’ Roll and a bundle of fun to boot. Blackout does deliver toe-tapping hooks and catchy choruses, but unfortunately not consistently.

This can in part be attributed to the eclectic mix of sounds on show, ranging from the catchy, AOR pop rock of the title track to the overly cheesy David Lee Roth like ditty ‘Satellite’. Toward the album’s end it seems every time a decent moment pops up, like the sweet harmonies and Arve Isdal and Thomas Tofthagen’s Thin Lizzy guitar leads of ‘California’, it is succeeded by an unremarkable one. A few too many tracks are middle of the road affairs, like the plodding Alannah Myles-esque central riff of ‘This Man’ and the bog standard, meat and potatoes serving of rock that is ‘Midnight Man’.

Their sixth offering Blackout is a decent record with some cracking hooks and sweet guitar licks let down by too many run of the mill rockers.