Audrey Horne - No Hay Banda
Modern Heavy Rock
14 songs (63'23")
Release year: 2005
Audrey Horne, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex

Being that this is a holiday weekend I had more time with TV this morning. I was greatly surprised, in a negative way, that with the arrival of XM Radio on my Direct TV the Metal music channel is gone. Plain vanished. The hardest music right now is Squizz-XL, and that channel plays the likes of Coheed and Cambria, Fuel and Korn.

This brief fact may not have to do much with Audrey Horne, but it does contribute to the modern heavy rock vs. metal debate. I guess every self-respected metal label has to have at least one metal-rock act these days, and Norwegians Audrey Horne are that troupe for Candlelight (or is it more due to the fact that some members of Audrey Horne are prominent Norwegian black metal musicians?).

My personal take on this music may be a very controversial one. I do not own any CDs by Queens of the Stone Age, Velvet Revolver and the like, so I can’t purposefully put them on. Whenever I am hearing it on the radio I am rarely able to acknowledge this music more than a musical background, it does not grab and captivate, aside from an occasional song I would consider “cool”. Nevertheless, I have no personal recipe for “coolness” in this genre, so my “cool” selections probably have no rhyme or reason, me picking the obscure tracks and ignoring the widely accepted hits.

My evaluation of No Hay Banda is no different then and probably falls under the same “does not make sense” auspices. There are a few tracks on this album that connect with me, while most of it, despite the quality production and first-rate execution, just slides along not registering much of an impact. The tracks, full of heavy chords all built up in a one solid wall of sound, are supplemented by a keyboard background and vocals alternating between moans and processed screamo-drones, those tracks are definitely a miss. Bleed, Airsupply and Halo are prime examples, the latter two coming at the close of the album giving it an endless feeling. At least Weightless has some tragic moments, mid-Eastern feel and acoustic interlude, while The Sweet Taste of Revenge has entrancing instrumental ending to provide some shade of individuality. Crust, on the other hand, is steady, electronic rich version of what Type O Negative would probably do, down to the lyrical content of the song. Heavier tracks, the opener Dead (It’s Not OK), Get a Rope and Blackhearted Visions amount to a bunch of punchy banter, neither very aggressive, nor very profound.

In the end, the tracks on No Hay Banda I enjoyed were the ones with darker, more gothic melodies and strong hooking choruses – the ones I deemed more personal. Blackeyed and Broken is goth dance rocker, and Listening, Deathhorse, Confessions & Alcohol and Candystore border on less intricate or elegant Katatonia, and could have been a left out B-side options for Last Fair Deal Gone Down. Listening is a gloomy floater with soaring synth, the chorus in Deathhorse reminds me very much of Teargas. Confessions & Alcohol is moody, percussive and even has a little solo, a rare find on the rest of the album. Candystore may annoy a little with the spoken vocals, but has a bridge with a gripping chord progression.

Fans of all the aforementioned modern popular bands, as well as Type O maniacs, may enjoy Audrey Horne quite a bit more. For that very reason, I have included the comparisons, and I would not be surprised if the fans of the genre would have a much higher opinion of the album. No Hay Banda did not revolutionize my view on the radio friendly commercial heavy rock, but there are some “cool” songs I could pop in the car player every now and then.

Killing Songs :
Listening, Deathhorse, Confessions & Alcohol, Candystore
Alex quoted 59 / 100
Other albums by Audrey Horne that we have reviewed:
Audrey Horne - Blackout reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Audrey Horne - Le Fol reviewed by Thomas and quoted 81 / 100
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