Album Review

Eamon Murphy
Might as well get it out of the way in the first line: AC/DC.

It just had to be said. There is no way any half-serious music fan could listen to No Guts, No Glory, (or its almost identical predecessor), without calling to mind those Gods of hard rock from Sydney, Australia. Nor does it help that Airbourne are themselves Australian and are apparently taking no shame in the emulation of their heroes.

Simply put, Airbourne are AC/DC reincarnated. At least they would be, if more than just Bon Scott had passed on to that great gig in the sky. Know what you’re getting with this album. It’s hard, heavy, and laden with rock n’ roll clichés (both musically and lyrically) in its salute to groupies, fast-living, heavy drums and thundering power chords.

Airbourne’s debut album Runnin’ Wild didn’t push the boundaries of hard rock quite so much as it pushed the often fine line between paying homage to an idol and musical plagiarism. Song titles like ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’, ‘Cheap Wine and Cheaper Women’ and ‘Stand Up For Rock n’ Roll’ would almost have you think you were reading the track-list of a classic Acca/Dacca album.

Listening closely to the lyrics of ‘Blonde, Bad and Beautiful’ from their latest release, you can imagine yourself hearing alternate lyrics to the first verse of ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’.

“Blonde, bad and beautiful/In the hot summer sun. With her tight dress painted on/Fahreinheit 101. She got the long legs to prove it/The back end to move it. She's a XXX movie just walking by/Lip-gloss, high heels. I'm losing my mind.”

‘From the Bottom of the Well’ and ‘No Way but the Hard Way’ continue in a similar vein. Soaring vocals over foot stomping riffs. It sounds like those guys from Sydney again.

But if you’re going to accuse them of imitating AC/DC, you also have to admit then too, they do a bloody great job. If any band is going to pick up the baton of the Young brothers and Brian Johnson, and run with it, it’s going to be these guys.

There’s little else to say. To date, Airbourne have shown themselves to have just one trick up their sleeve. But who cares, when that trick is this good. Every song packs a punch; chock-full of bludgeoning power chords, tasty licks, bruising drums. The lyrics make me wish I was swilling cheap bear with an even cheaper date in some dive bar, shooting the shit with a couple of Hell’s Angels. And that ain’t normally my idea of a great night.

Some people will complain about the sometimes asinine simplicity of the music and lyrics. Those people will never understand such simple pleasures. But for those about to rock, we salute you.

88/100