Airbourne – Boneshaker Review

Band: Airbourne
Album: Boneshaker
Label: Spinefarm
Country: Australia
Release Date: October 25th, 2019

October marked the release of Boneshaker, the newest addition to Australian warriors of rock, Airbourne. Formed in 2003 in the coastal city of Warrnambool by the O’Keeffe brothers, Airbourne have historically been known for their teeth-kicking, infectious chorus’ and beautifully blended sound across their discography. Their live performances are not something to miss should you find yourself lucky enough to have them touring your city. If you’re not familiar, grab a bottle of Jack and the nearest copy of Runnin’ Wild. Think Judas Priest meets AC/DC with the occasional Iron Maiden styled verse or two. Their stellar track record is present at times on their new album, but not as consistently as their past entries. 

The eponymous opening track begins with a desert sweeping riff, and continues with a foot-tapping, soul driven rhythm that slows down in the middle to bring it back up to a scream. A guaranteed ripper at future shows, no doubt.Burnout The Nitro is the next entry, continuing the same riff-tastic, rough talking tempo that Boneshaker brought with it, this song is just as energetic as when they played it live at Copenhagen. A furious solo tears the restraints off before closing with the final chorus. Make sure someone else is driving before you put this one on.

If there was one song on this album you absolutely need to hear, it’s This Is Our City, bringing with it a sucker punch straight from Back In Black. By the time the second verse swings around, you’ll be shadow-boxing and high-fiving your friends to no end while rewinding the lyrics: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; you’ll remember the day you messed with me”. A solid throwback to the No Guts, No Glory days. Bringing things back down is the somewhat lacklustre Sex To Go, an Alice Cooper-esque song which reminds us that not all of Alice Cooper’s albums are good.

Backseat Boogie thankfully puts the foot back on the floor, another drink-slamming, foot tapping anthem that has a beautiful solo and experimental vocal rhythms. The wailing of the guitars will bring anybody with a soul to an air-guitar moment, this one definitely deserves to be in your Friday rotation. Drawing on that Judas Priest influence is Blood In the Water, with hopeful riffs and crashing cymbals, but unfortunately just doesn’t give the same calibre of kick-ass as the other diamonds on this album.

A banging bass stomp can be heard on the screamer She Gives Me Hell as the lucky number 7th track reminds everyone where Airbourne are from. The emotion is absolutely on display here, with a chorus that conjures images of Joel O’Keeffe shouting blue bloody murder in the studio. A pearler of a jam and a saving grace of the album. Carrying on the momentum is Switchblade Angel. This song evokes the image of a leather wearing, combat-boot kicking mullet sporting teenager shotgunning a beer, and it’s old school Airbourneall the way.

A mixed-tempo song called Weapon of War slows things down towards the end. The longest track on this album, it’s hard to place where the climax is on this song, but closes with a tasty solo to priest like chants. The final drop on the rollercoaster that is Boneshaker comes Rock ‘N’ Roll For Life, emphatically cementing the promise that Airbourne are making us all, to continue bringing more distortion laden, screaming high notes that are determined to drive up the chiropractic industry. A fantastic finish to an album that’s filled with more hits than misses, Boneshaker is nonetheless a relieving reminder that Airbourne do indeed still kick ass.

Rating: 8/10

  1. Boneshaker
  2. Burnout The Nitro
  3. This Is Our City
  4. Sex To Go
  5. Backseat Boogie
  6. Blood In The Water
  7. She Gives Me Hell
  8. Switchblade Angel
  9. Weapon Of War
  10. Rock ‘N’ Roll For Life

Total Playing Time: 30:00

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