Review: Airbourne – ‘Boneshaker’

AirbourneFor their fifth studio album, ‘Boneshaker’, Aussie noise merchants Airbourne rung in the changes, broke out the acoustic guitars and turned everything down a notch or two. Yeah, as if. ‘Boneshaker’ is more of the full throttle, full pelt, fist-to-the-face madness that you would come to expect from Joel O’Keefe and cohorts.

Airbourne moments usually fall into a few categories; slow building, pulsating riff monsters, boogie beasts straight from the crotch area, and 100mph straight-out-of-the-gate rippers. Title track ‘Boneshaker’ opens the album and instantly falls into the first category. The drum beat from Ryan O’Keeffe is so simple that it makes you think that this drum malarkey is easy to pick up. But it’s not, O’Keeffe just makes it look easy, the Ringo of Aussie rock? Maybe yeah. For ‘This Is Our City’, please see the above. ‘Weapon Of War’ is the longest of the ten tracks featured on ‘Boneshaker’, and gradually builds from the spoken word intro, into a multi-faceted five minutes – Airbourne do Metallica ‘One’?

Looking for a bit of boogie? ‘Sex To Go’ will quench that thirst. Joel O’Keefe at his mischievous, glint-in-the-eye best. It’s called ‘Sex To Go’ so it’s hardly going to be subtle, but Airbourne don’t really do subtle. Ditto ‘Backseat Boogie’, it’s best not to overthink things and just go with it. Keeping the heads bobbing and the fists pumping are ‘Blood In The Water’ and ‘She Gives Me Hell’, both will slay if played live.

Then there are the rippers. Although ‘Burnout The Nitro’ is not as fast as the title might suggest, it will still get you three points and a £60 spot fine. Justin Street on the bass does a stellar job, as does guitarist Matt Harrison who does the legwork while Joel O’Keefe rips his Gibson Explorer a new one. ‘Switchblade Angel’ continues the pacier moments, and the trademark Airbourne gang-vocals are never too far away. ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll For Life’ ends the album on a ‘Let There Be Rock’ inspired note, expect Joel O’Keefe atop a PA stack during the midsection of this belter when played live.

‘Boneshaker’ just barely scraps past the thirty minute mark, so it does not overstay its welcome. The listener doesn’t really have a chance to get bored, it’s one rocker after another, and “rocker” in the true meaning of the word. Produced with the award-winning Dave Cobb at the helm, it’s the musical equivalent of the hooter sounding at factories everywhere at 5pm on a Friday, it’s the start of the weekend, and a debauched weekend at that.

Available now through Spinefarm Records.

Catch Airbourne on tour throughout late October/early November – tour dates here.

Review – Dave




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