Audrey Horne – “Blackout” (Napalm Records)
With their name unmistakably taken from David Lynch’s cult 90s drama “Twin Peaks”, Audrey Horne is the 70s classic rock alter ego for Norwegian musicians better known for their heavier and in some cases more extreme bands like Enslaved and Sahg! Formed in 2002 by vocalist Torkjell Rød (Sylvia Wane), the band have released 5 prior albums, so clearly are onto a winning formula and “Blackout” proves it across 10 catchy tracks soaked in 70s hard rock riffs and grooves that will only have you clamoring for more! Man, if you like classic Thin Lizzy or Black Star Riders, then you’re gonna go wild for the riffs and melodies that come out’ve the Lynott / Gorham / Robertson book, warbling out dexterously on the title track ‘Blackout’ and unmistakably in the chorus complete with hard back beat and cowbell. As for anyone who still loves ‘Emerald’, then ‘California’ with its traditional Celtic guitar rhythms will immediately connect to this track through the twin guitars of Arve Isdal (Enslaved) and Thomas Tofthagen (Sahg), while the chorus offers a milder, groovier tone in an interesting contrast to the heavier style employed by Lizzy. Likewise, the classic influences are evident but more subtly in the modern hard rock of ‘Audrevolution’ pulsating with energy through its hard rhythm and awesome singalong chorus that literally come blasting out but stay long memorable in the mind. It’s not all Thin Lizzy and on tracks like ‘Satellite’ there’s a more funked up mid 80s sound along with the stadium rock of ‘Midnight Man’ which has a fast rolling stoner groove but in the catchy chorus could be early Def Leppard or even UFO. With Riot evident in the upbeat, epic but melodic ‘Naysayer’ with its driving guitar and harmonies, it’s all back to Lizzy for the closer ‘Rose Alley’ with its long twin guitar workouts in total recognition of Ireland’s greatest classic rock band, while once again credibly debunking the myth of black mascara being all that’s Norwegian!