More often than not, side projects tend to be experimental, self-indulgent pieces of work that are salivated on by Über fans of the bands involved. Thankfully, Audrey Horne (featuring current members of Enslaved and Sahg) is an entity that thrives on the complacency of the listener and challenges the side project moniker.
“Youngblood” is the fourth album by Norway’s post-grunge… STOP PRESS!!!!! Post-grunge?? This is bona fide ROCK AND F**CKING ROLL. There is no pretention, no shoe gazing, and no miserable self-examination. This is everything that’s good in heavy metal and then some.
“Redemption Blues” kick starts proceedings. A formidable Lizzy/Maiden/UFO fusion, bound lyrically, with tongue-in-cheek references to Love/Hate’s Blackout in the Red Room and Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole. Youngblood’s delicious title track feels like it was marinated overnight in a vat of seventies groove. Meanwhile, the Siren in “There Goes a Lady” beckons sailors to their doom with a sound akin to early Whitesnake. “Pretty Little Sunshine” is utterly infectious and its allure is only strengthened by the offset twin lead closing solo between Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen. Two warriors of the fretboard shaking loose the shackles of extremity. During the intro of “The Open Sea”, Toschie delivers a soaring vocal swathed in a haunting keyboard cloak, before a Rainbow-esque march carries the listener far beyond rescue. “Straight Into Your Grave”, “Show and Tell” and “This Ends Here” maintain the tempo and purpose of the album. For the love of all things Rawk, there are handclaps on “Straight into ..” and if that doesn’t float your boat, you’ve just read the wrong review.
Audrey Horne treaded alternative rock pastures on previous albums but with Youngblood they have embraced the grandeur of Classic Rock, taken the rulebook, thrown it into the fires of nostalgia, and written their own path towards greatness.
NORWAY: January 25, 2013
SWEDEN / FINLAND / SPAIN: February 30, 2013
GERMANY / AUSTRIA / SWITZERLAND / BENELUX: February 01, 2013
REST OF EUROPE: February 04, 2013
USA/ CANADA: February 05, 2013.
Toschie – Vocals
Ice Dale – Guitar
Kjetil Greve – Drums
Thomas Tofthagen – Guitar
Espen Lien – Bass