AIRBOURNE - Boneshaker
Release date October 25/19 (Spinefarm)
If you're going to wear your influences on your sleeve, I guess it makes sense to pick arguably the biggest hard rock band on the planet. However, it does leave you open for ridicule too. So here we have fellow Aussies Airbourne using the AC/DC template (yet again) on this their fifth full length.
Positives first. Boneshaker is the band's best album since their debut, containing more individual tracks that resonate, and the overall energy is definitely higher than their latest releases. Highlights would include all the high-octane tracks ('Burnout the Nitro' , 'Backseat Boogie', 'Blood in the Water', 'Switchblade Angel' and closer 'Rock'n'Roll For Life' (which rewrites the title track from Let There Be Rock)) and the Rose Tattoo-influenced 'Sex To Go'. So, fully six of ten tracks should be welcome additions to any hard rocker's collection. Hell, with a 60% hit rate, this pisses all over the three AC/DC releases of the 2000's.
Onto the negatives. The first obvious complaint would be the derivative nature of the material, Airbourne not adding any twists to make their own sound. If you've heard the AC/DC discography, you've heard Airbourne's. Secondly, the four plodding and/or commercial tracks are just plain boring. Lastly, the lyrics are straight out of the Anvil playbook, juvenile schoolyard sexual innuendos aplenty.
All that said, I gotta say that this had me tapping my foot on a consistent basis. I guess there will always be room for energetic, good time boogie-fied hard rock now that the kings have relinquished the throne (looking at you AC/DC!).