Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild (2007, EMI/Capitol)
- Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll
- Runnin’ Wild
- Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
- Diamond In The Rough
- Fat City
- What’s Eatin’ You
- Girls In Black
- Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women
- Let’s Ride
Joel O’Keeffe – Lead Vocals & Guitars
Ryan O’Keeffe – Drums
David Roads – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Justin Street – Bass & Backing Vocals
Producer: Bob Marlette
Total Time – 37:52
I’ve been waiting a long time to finally acquire RUNNIN’ WILD from Australia’s newest pub rockers, Airbourne, and it’s been worth the wait. The music is basically AC/DC, The Angels, and Rose Tattoo inspired, party-time guitar Rock. Obviously, we’re not talking about the technical prowess of Dream Theater or the grand atmospheric splendor of Nightwish, this is bare bones guitar, bass, drums, and a whole lot of attitude.
What sets a band like Airbourne apart, like AC/DC, is their minimalist approach. In the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal world right now, there are so many different genres, so many different styles, that bands can get lost in the shuffle of being too different or too technical. Basic blues-based Rock ‘n’ Roll is what Classic Rock legends like AC/DC thrives on to this day. Take a listen to late ’70s and early ’80s Rock and tell me if Airbourne fits right in. Take tons of basic riffs, add lyrics about booze, chicks, and sex, and add a solid backline…..it’s a formula Airbourne has taken from some of the masters and brought it to a new generation.
Airbourne has decided to go straight for the jugular and come out blazing with new anthems like ‘Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘Runnin’ Wild’ (first single). Both guitar driven songs with shouty lyrics and big background vocals. The pace and style doesn’t stop as the record continues on to ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’, ‘Diamond In The Rough’, and ‘Fat City’. Actually, ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’ and ‘Fat City’ fall into a groove slightly above mid-pace, still hard and still good.
Listening to fast rocker ‘Blackjack’ and you swear that mainman Joel O’Keefe is the bastard child of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson combined. Joel just screeches his vocals with a power that these two greats trademarked long ago. ‘What’s Eatin’ You’ sounds like it came right out of the bar, toe-tapping and fist-pumping all the way to the arena. Same thing with the rest of the disc: if the formula isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
What’s so striking is the guitar playing, it’s right out of the Young brothers’ songwriting books. Simple and basic, it doesn’t have to be overplayed, or have layer upon layer, it’s a basic rhythm track with the lead over the top and a solo. It’s just works.
I like AC/DC and this is just like AC/DC but more aggressive and fast. I use the AC/DC comparison as a compliment because the music is that good. RUNNIN’ WILD is fast and has a groove…..it gets your toe tapping, and your head banging. Because the album is so straight forward, it goes by fast, clocking in close to 38 minutes. That’s almost an E.P. for some bands! It may be short but it’s long on quality Rock anthems. I see lots of success for Airbourne if they stay the course and keep churning out albums like this. Millions of people love this kind of Rock and Airbourne delivers. Favorite songs: ‘Runnin’ Wild’, ‘What’s Eatin’ You’, ‘Fat City’, ‘Diamond In The Rough’…..hell, I like the whole damn thing!