Album Review – Airbourne / Breakin’ Outta Hell (2016)

Let the party begin with another blast of kick-ass straightforward Rock N’ Roll forged in the burning pits of Down Under.


airbourne_bohEvery single person who thinks Rock N’ Roll is dead and gone should take a very good listen at Breakin’ Outta Hell, the fourth studio album by Australian rockers Airbourne and an amazing ode to all things rock. You won’t find anything that can be considered brand new or revolutionary in Breakin’ Outta Hell that wasn’t already present in their previous releases, the superb Runnin’ Wild, No Guts. No Glory. and Black Dog Barking, but that’s not what this Melbourne-based quartet has in mind with their music anyway. They simply want to blast the purest and most electrifying form of Rock N’ Roll you can think of, and they always succeed in that.

I used to call Airbourne as the “heavier version of AC/DC” when I first heard them due to their more metallic riffs and increased speed, but I have to admit the band comprised of Joel O’Keeffe on lead vocals and lead guitar, his brother Ryan O’Keeffe on drums, David Roads on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, and Justin Street on bass guitar, have truly found their core essence through the years, delivering a unique musicality which, albeit initially inspired by their iconic countrymen, has nicely achieved its own shape and form. If you’re a longtime fan of the band you’ll certainly have a lot of fun with Breakin’ Outta Hell, and if you’re a newcomer to the world of Airbourne get ready to be rocked by those four brawlers from Down Under.

Let the Rock N’ Roll party begin with the title-track Breakin’ Outta Hell, a pure Airbourne composition exhibiting their characteristic riffs and the badass vocals by Joel, making it impossible not to grab a beer and get to the front row to better appreciate this marvelous hymn, followed by the also excellent Rivalry, a mid-tempo chant highly recommended for your road trip playlist. The thunderous bass lines by Justin, together with an amazing job done on guitars by Joel and David, represent exactly what we can always expect from this skilled band. Obviously, some of their songs have a strong AC/DC vibe, which is the case in Get Back Up, in special the sound of guitars, with Ryan stealing the spotlight with his rhythmic and fierce beats.

A song with the beyond rockin’ name It’s Never Too Loud for Me couldn’t be bad at all. Quite the contrary, it’s a tribute to true rock music, with another excellent performance by the entire band smashing their instruments in the name of Rock N’ Roll; whereas Thin the Blood, a beer-drinking hymn tailored for a nasty pub fight (“It’s 5 o’ clock I’m ready to rock / Cold beer gonna hit the spot tonight / No more work coz I’ve knocked off / When I start to drink I just don’t stop / I love the buzz it picks me up / Makes me feel a million bucks”), brings forward the band’s high-speed Hard Rock led by the deranged vocals by Joel. I’m Going to Hell for This is the epitome of “badass music from Down Under”, with pure Rock N’ Roll flowing from the guitars by Joel and David while Ryan keeps delivering his precise beats, turning it into one of the best songs of the album without a shadow of a doubt. And Down On You, with its soft porn lyrics (“When I was a boy I played with my toy / Every single day oh it was a joy / I didn’t really see until she said to me / Have you ever kissed a girl between the knees?”), is the perfect choice for a wild strip-tease by a sexy rockin’ woman.

airbourne-2016I can’t imagine a Rock N’ Roll fan not getting thrilled by an old school composition the likes of Never Been Rocked Like This, where Joel focuses all his passion for rock music into firing his always sensational riffs and solos, not to mention his inebriate harsh screams. Then we have When I Drink I Go Crazy, a fast-paced rockin’ chant which works really well despite its repetitive lyrics, with its blazing guitars and nonstop action being its driving force, and Do Me Like You Do Yourself, another song with sexual connotation that doesn’t sound cheesy, being perfect for playing to your Rock N’ Roll babe when you’re in a darkened room with her, with the fiery guitar solo by Joel only making it even more enjoyable and hotter. Lastly, although I know It’s All for Rock N’ Roll was supposed to be a rock anthem and that the music itself is pretty solid, it ends up getting a bit repetitive compared to all the awesomeness found in the rest of the album. That doesn’t mean it’s not a very good song, though, it’s simply not fantastic, if you know what I’m saying. And if I were you, I would definitely go for the deluxe edition of the album, as the bonus track Bombshell is plain awesome.

In a nutshell, Airbourne play music for decent and humble people like us who enjoy drinking a few pints with our friends and family, who love to engage in a nice pub fight if needed and, above all things, who nurture a profound passion for old school Rock N’ Roll, as simple and thrilling as that, and that’s the main purpose of the band with Breakin’ Outta Hell. As I said, there’s nothing that can be considered innovative throughout the whole album, but I don’t think any real fan of the band is worried about that. Every single time Airbourne launch a new album, we’re treated to kick-ass straightforward Rock N’ Roll forged in the burning pits of Down Under, and while they keep drinking from that beautiful source we can rest assured Rock N’ Roll will never die.

Best moments of the album: Breakin’ Outta Hell, I’m Going to Hell for This and Do Me Like You Do Yourself.

Worst moments of the album: It’s All for Rock N’ Roll.

Released in 2016 Spinefarm Records

Track listing
1. Breakin’ Outta Hell 3:53
2. Rivalry 4:03
3. Get Back Up 3:38
4. It’s Never Too Loud for Me 3:24
5. Thin the Blood 3:29
6. I’m Going to Hell for This 3:45
7. Down On You 4:19
8. Never Been Rocked Like This 3:07
9. When I Drink I Go Crazy 2:41
10. Do Me Like You Do Yourself 3:58
11. It’s All for Rock N’ Roll 3:39

Deluxe Edition bonus track
12. Bombshell 3:28

Band members
Joel O’Keeffe – vocals, lead guitar
David Roads – guitar
Justin Street – bass
Ryan O’Keeffe – drums

The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2013

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s that time of the year where our ears are tortured by those boring old songs (unless you listen to something like this, the best Christmas song ever!), but at least our stomachs are rewarded with some delicious food and drinks. It’s time to look back and see what went right in our lives, our mistakes, and make plans for the coming year. And why not listing the best Heavy Metal and Hard Rock albums of 2013, which pretty much constituted the soundtrack of both our good and bad moments this year? Here are my top 10 albums of 2013, excluding EP’s, best of and live albums. I hope you enjoy the list!

Helloween_Straight Out of Hell1. Helloween – Straight Out of Hell
The German Power Metal masters are back with their most awesome album since The Time of the Oath.
Best song of the album: Straight Out of Hell

Chthonic-Bu-Tik2. Chthonic – Bú-Tik (REVIEW)
The best Heavy Metal band of the East delivers another superb album full of strength and creativity.
Best song of the album: Defenders of Bú-Tik Palace

TriviumVengeance3. Trivium – Vengeance Falls (REVIEW)
A brilliant lesson in heavy and fast riffs from Matt Heafy and his crew, proving why they are a reference in the world of heavy music.
Best song of the album: Brave This Storm

Outlaw_Gentlemen_&_Shady_Ladies_Album_Cover4. Volbeat – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
This band from beautiful Denmark takes another huge step to conquer the world of music.
Best song of the album: Dead But Rising

Serpents_Unleashed5. Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed (REVIEW)
A magnificent and gruesome Thrash/Death Metal album from one of the most prominent new bands in the U.S.
Best song of the album: I Am Of Death (Hell Has Arrived)

Motörhead_Aftershock6. Motörhead – Aftershock (REVIEW)
Do you enjoy some good old Rock N’ Roll? If so, you must listen to this album.
Best song of the album: Do You Believe

Nemesis_by_Stratovarius7. Stratovarius – Nemesis
Stratovarius delivers an amazing album, their best since Timo Tolkki left the band in 2009.
Best song of the album: Halcyon Days

Amon-Amarth-Deciever-of-the-Gods8. Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
Not as unique as Surtur Rising, but still a mighty and powerful album from this Swedish Melodic Death Metal band.
Best song of the album: Father of the Wolf

Black_Dog_Barking_(Album_Cover)9. Airbourne – Black Dog Barking
As long as our mates from Down Under are alive, Rock N’ Roll will never die. Get ready to rock!
Best song of the album: Live It Up

SuperCollider10. Megadeth – Super Collider
“MegaDave” and his band return with a very interesting mix of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Country and Folk music.
Best song of the album: Kingmaker

And here are the other albums that would make my top 20 list this year:

11. Black Sabbath – 13
12. Lordi – To Beast or Not to Beast
13. Carcass – Surgical Steel
14. Tarja – Colours in the Dark (REVIEW)
15. DevilDriver – Winter Kills (REVIEW)
16. Sepultura – The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart (REVIEW)
17. Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood
18. Six Feet Under – Unborn
19. Dream Theater – Dream Theater
20. Pink Cream 69 – Ceremonial

These are some of the new releases already announced for 2014 that deserve to be listened to, and that will most probably be reviewed on this blog:

Axel Rudi Pell – Into The Storm
Chrome Division – Infernal Rock Eternal
Iced Earth – Plagues Of Babylon
Primal Fear – Delivering The Black
Gamma Ray – Empire of the Undead
Within Temptation – Hydra
Steel Panther – All You Can Eat
Behemoth – The Satanist

And finally, maybe we’ll have brand new material from giants such as Iron Maiden, Slayer and Judas Priest, who knows? Or something new from great bands that have been “quiet” for a good period of time like Exodus, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Cannibal Corpse, Testament, The Agonist, among others. Let’s wait and see, or even better, let’s wait and LISTEN!

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2014!