Picture this: It’s Friday afternoon, you’re on your way home from work, feeling a little bit tired like you usually do on a Friday and you’re thinking you just want to lie down on the couch, watch a movie and eat snacks and candy. But hey, whadda you know, it’s your friends on the phone, telling you that there will be no couch or movie, no no no, there’s a party on the way and you will now join your friends for some serious drinking. Ok, finally at home you crack open your first beer before hitting the shower, but more important, you need some kick ass music to get you going. And no matter how good bands like Queensrÿche or Dream Theater might be, they are not the ones to kick-start a party mood. So you’re starting digging up the usual suspects; Kiss, Mötley Crüe, AC/DC… But hey, now you realise that you have heard all those albums a million times and maybe it’s time for something new, something fresh – not to diss the bands mentioned here at all – but you need a new young band for the party attack.
Enter: Airbourne. And speaking of AC/DC, just like them Airbourne hail from Australia and just like AC/DC, these guys like to rock. Hard! With a groove! Airbourne got their breakthrough back in 2007 with their debut album Runnin’ Wild, a hard rock attack from Hell with not only a big fan base but also rave reviews from the rock magazines out there. The only negative things that were said about the band was that they sounded too much like AC/DC. Well, actually, they were called clones by many and I must admit, rightfully so, because these guys sound a lot like AC/DC, when they don’t sound like a better version of Rose Tattoo, that is. So don’t Airbourne have any identity at all? Well, funny enough, they do and I think that if you can steal as much as they have done but still keep their own identity, you’re doing something very right. After some serious touring the band went back in the studio and released the follow up, No Guts. No Glory in 2010 and even though that was a pretty good album, something was missing. I couldn’t find the knock out choruses and the gut punching, but catchy riffs of the first album and frankly it felt like Airbourne had painted themselves into a corner – I mean when you’re doing this kind of music, a style that is pretty narrow, you need to find the little things that helps the music to stick out.
After some more intense touring it is now time for the oh so important album no. 3 and frankly, I was a bit worried. I mean, if they couldn’t keep the fire burning for two albums, how on earth would they find their way with this one? Well, it only took one listen to first single “Live It Up” for all my worries to blow themselves out the window. The song is a total killer, full of energy, catchy and groovy. Same thing when the album entered my ear drums for the first time. “Ready To Rock”, an awesome AC/DC cliché (in a good way) blaster with “whoa whoa” chantings, “Animalize” is a pretty commercial, but fat groover, plus it might just be last Kiss album title made a song of… and then there’s “Back In The Game”, a catchy and groovy number that could have been off their debut. “Firepower” sounds just like its title – energetic as hell, in “Woman Like That” they show the world how to make a total cliché sound convincing, “Cradle To The Grave” is just soooo much AC/DC – and sooooo fucking brilliant and with the wild and furious title track they end the album perfectly. With Black Dog Barking, Airbourne has made a brilliant come back. The album is almost as good their debut and it totally crushes its predecessor. The band feels hungry, fresh and like they mean business again. This is not intellectual, this is music made from and for the crotch. This is the album that no party should be without. You just remember that when you’re tired and beat and on your way home to the couch next Friday…
Jon Wilmenius (8/10)
1. Ready To Rock
3. No One Fits Me (Better Than You)
4. Back In The Game
6. Live It Up
7. Woman Like That
9. Cradle To The Grave
10. Black Dog Barking