Airbourne – Boneshaker
Released: 25th October, 2019
Joel O’Keefe | Vocals, Lead Guitar
Matthew Harrison | Guitar
Justin Street | Bass
Ryan O’Keefe | drums
Hailing from the hard rock Mecca of Warrnambool, brothers Ryan and Joel O’Keefe have been plying their trade as Aussie hard/pub rock heroes since 2003. It was in the pubs of Victoria where they stamped their authority with a sound reminiscent of those other Aussie hard rock heroes AC/DC. Their sound, look and attitude caught the imagination of the masses and the band soon broke out of the beer-soaked grotty pubs and onto bigger and better things. Airbourne are certified darlings of the festival circuit, playing some of the biggest the world has to offer. Riff-laden heavy rock, thumping drums combined with those familiar gravel vocals, it’s clearly a recipe for success.
Now with the release of of their fifth album Boneshaker they look to continue that, with ten tracks of exactly what you’d expect from the band. It’s all about the riffs except — sorry ladies and gents — you’ve heard them all before. So many times. But let’s face it, are there really any original riffs in rock anymore? Probably not, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Airbourne clearly have a formula and they stick to it come hell or high water. Big rock riffs, foot stomping, fist pumping beats and lyrics dumb enough to kill brain cells.
Once you’ve ground your way through the first three tracks you hit classic sleaze in the form of ‘Sex To Go’. I mean, how can you go past lyrics like “gotta get a little meat on the bone” or “all I really want is your apple pie”? But I suppose if you’re going to write big dumb songs about cruising for chicks in your Commodore, then why not give the bogans something to shout from the window as they roll down Main Street? On a positive note, at a running time of 2:38 it’s all over pretty fast. Or perhaps it’s just the foreplay for the next track ‘Backseat Boogie.’ At this point my brain is starting to hurt. Head into the city, roll down the windows, crank the music up, clear the empty VB cans off the backseat and get ready to shake your bone.
Look, I’m going to openly admit that I might be completely missing the humour of this band, and with their success to date, maybe I am. But I can’t shake the feeling I’ve heard all this before. (I have. You have. We all have.) I’m a kid of 80’s metal where the glam scene threw up more sleaze than you can shake a stick at. But that was then, this is now. Back in the 70’s and 80’s when AC/DC and others hit the scene, they were ground-breaking, dangerous and not afraid to take risks. Here in 2019 Airbourne are just rehashing a well and truly trodden path, and there’s a place for it. Just look at the likes of Steel Panther who do it a hell of a lot better, and even they’re skating past their use by date. But hey, what do I know, Airbourne will probably go on and chart like mofos.
If you’re into formulaic, generic, mediocre rock, grab a hand full of grease, slick back that mullet, chuck on a pair of servo wraparounds, fire up that big Aussie V8, drop Boneshaker in the Alpine cassette deck and party ‘til you puke.
Personally, I’m glad to come to the end of this review so I don’t have to listen to this album ever again.
Airbourne – Boneshaker tracklisting:
- Burnout The Nitro
- This Is Our City
- Sex To Go
- Backseat Boogie
- Blood In The Water
- She Gives Me Hell
- Switchblade Angel
- Weapon Of War
- Rock n Roll For Life