Monthly Archives: November 2014

Audrey Horne-Pure Heavy

Audrey-Horne_Pure-Heavya

If you know the name Audrey Horne, you are either a Twin Peaks fan or from Norway. There are 5 guys who are both and have a band known as Audrey Horne that have just released their newest album Pure Heavy. I have never heard them before but I saw that this is a side project of guys in Enslaved and Sahg and was quite intrigued. I love when black metal or death metal musicians have projects outside their genre. Ihshan of Emperor has released some brilliant instrumental music while Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir has Chrome Division a hard rock version of Sons Of Anarchy except their not whiny pussies like the guys on the TV show.
On my first listening of Pure Heavy, the first thing I noticed was the singer Toschie. It wasn’t that he was great or horrible, he’s pretty good, but it was why it sounded so familiar. At times he reminded me of Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger and on certain choruses I could hear some Ozzy. After a couple more tracks it finally hit me, he sounds like Brent Hinds of Mastodon. Musically the band sounds like a nice modern take on 70’s hard rock. Lots of KISS and Thin Lizzy influence along with some more flairs thrown in. Opening track “Wolf in my Heart” has that Lizzy dueling guitar sound down so much I had to look to make sure Scott Gorham didn’t play on it. The twin guitars of Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen are on display again on “Out Of The City” and “Volcano Girl”. The former is the perfect driving with the top down song, as seen in their puppet laden video while the later track has a much more modern sound. “Diamond” has a slow acoustic intro until it kicks into a very Dio-like main riff. “Gravity” is the track where I believe the Brent Hinds similarity hit me. Really evident on the choruses with the song sounding like Mastodon if it was more of a hard rock band.
That is meant as a compliment.
I will admit the album did start to drag towards the end. It’s not that it was bad but the influences were becoming too much when they probably could have used a couple more tracks like “Gravity”. Then again only idiots like me listen to albums all the way through anymore. There is a lot to like about Audrey Horne’s Pure Heavy. Some really choice guitar melodies on display incorporated with very catchy familiar yet fresh rock songs. Don’t know what it is about that area but they are better at American rock than America is.

PS

They got Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth to drive around in a classic Lincoln with suicide doors and that is a pretty damn cool.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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Pink Floyd-The Endless River

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Like most of the world, I’ve been a fan of Pink Floyd. Listening to The Wall is still an amazing experience after all these days. And the albums they did without Roger are really good. “Learning To Fly” is the perfectly amalgam of Floyd and pop. Everyone knows of the animosity between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, so the prospect of having any new Pink Floyd music was very very remote. Add in that keyboardist Richard Wright had recently passed away, it seemed even more remote. So everyone was shocked when it was announced that there would be a new Pink Floyd album coming out. David announced that The Endless River would be made of up tracks left over from The Division Bell sessions.
This is a tough task that David and drummer Nick Mason decided to undertake. Material that is left over was left over for a reason. Add in that your using material from a guy that is no longer on this mortal plane. When the album starts you hear signature Pink Floyd sounds. Big keys holding one note for a ling time while David Gilmour noodles. It’s very atmospheric and transcendent.
For about 10 minutes.
And then it continues and continues doing the same thing. It’s nice and relaxing but gets monotonous after a bit. The tracks are grouped together on “sides” and then “parts”. There is only one song with vocals the fittingly titled “Side 4 Pt.4 Louder Than Words”. The Endless River only kicks up the tempo on the three non-”Side” tracks but they are instrumental.
After listening to the album it is obvious that these were leftover tracks. There’s no real theme, no excitement, no emotion, no feel, nothing.
Nada.
Zilch.
This seems like something that a label would do and not David Gilmour. He wants it to be a fitting swansong for Richard Wright but comes across like a cash cow for his accountant. If David would have released an EP or added some of these tracks onto a Best Of or Live album as incentive, I would understand. What you get here is a bunch of tracks you think you’ve heard of before but and not really sure where. The Endless River is 60 minutes of glorified New Age music that is a very unfitting swansong for a legendary rock band.
Sometimes it best to leave things in the vault.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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Big Trouble-Long Start To A Short Career

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After finding this under the pile of other new releases, several things came to mind. Why does the name Big Trouble sound familiar? How old is this? Is this another reissue of a lost album? If this is new how in the hell how has no one used this name before?
This EP from Big Trouble is new material but they are an old band. Long Start To A Short Career was released on Retrospect a label that specializes in finding demo’s and albums from bands that never quite made it. Big Trouble is one of those bands that got close but never got their “big break”. Despite creating a substantial following in the Southeast the dastardly flannel wearing boys from Seattle shifted the musical winds.
Upon listening to Long Start, this sounds like they are left over songs from 2 decades ago. “What’s Going On?” is very reminiscent of Roth era Van Halen complete with a wise cracking banter. It makes me think of all those Swedish and Norwegian bands that are coming out now sounding like they are 1989 LA bands playing at Gazzari’s. Everyone seems to be a parody of one another. Not a scintilla of originality and worst of it’s boring. I can handle something being unoriginal, everyone rips off everyone, but when it is boring that is unforgivable.
The best track on here is “Now You See Me” a solid rock tune. Basic song with a nice hook and no overtly sexual lyrics from a guy in his mid to late 40’s. Hey, I’m the same age so I know how creepy it is. That’s kind of a problem with bands like this doing 80’s hard rock. David Lee Roth and Taime Downe can get away with overtly sexual stuff because that’s what they’re known for, they built up cache. Bob in Detroit sounds really icky to anyone not knowing who he is.
I almost feel bad hammering these guys because they got back together and made something. That is to be commended. However, I wish they would do more songs like “Now You See Me” and less of “Candyland”.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD

$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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