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Airbourne - 2010 No Guts No Glory



ARTIST: Airbourne
ALBUM: No Guts No Glory
LABEL: Roadrunner
SERIAL: RR 7874-2
YEAR: 2010
CD REISSUE: 2009, Roadrunner, RR 7874-5 (Collectors Edition)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Joel O'Keeffe - vocals, lead guitar * Ryan O'Keeffe - drums * David Roads - guitar, backing vocals * Justin Street - bass, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Born To Kill * 02 No Way But The Hard Way * 03 Blonde, Bad And Beautiful * 04 Raise The Flag * 05 Bottom Of The Well * 06 White Line Fever * 07 It Ain't Over Till It's Over * 08 Steel Town * 09 Chewin' The Fat * 10 Get Busy Livin' * 11 Armed And Dangerous * 12 Overdrive * 13 Back On The Bottle

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.airbournerock.com


Background
I really wanted to dislike this album, in fact hate it with a real passion. In fact originally I felt the same way about Black Stone Cherry, only to be put straight with their excellent 'Folklore And Superstition' recording. However somewhat taken in with the tidal wave of wall to wall promotion deemed to be appropriate from Roadrunner on this album, add to that - the award of 'Album of the Month' status from some top shelf magazines and the sustained attack of heavy TV coverage bestowed upon 'No Guts No Glory', it all went some way to swaying me into buying it, although the exclusive free beer mat wasn't the clincher as some might think. It was more the needing of a rock fix as part of my addiction of buying CD's, with the attraction of extra tracks on the limited edition. So I purchased it in my local music store one lunchtime, although the other offending items on display, 'can I interest you in the new Boyzone sir?' didn't provide the strongest of competition. Actually I noticed the marketing ploy with this new release in the store, placed strategically next to AC/DC's 'Back In Black', trying to entice the buyer into another purchase. Like the average Airbourne buyer hasn't already got this classic in their collection.. I'm not that gullible, although it did come in a nice digipak and at a sale price of ś5, I could've been interested and changed my mind. Of course Airbourne display every clich‚ in the book, so I make no apologies if my review has them likewise, for instance I could be using the following 'bet they are a great live band', 'traditional old school', 'don't bring anything new to the party', watch out Kerrang, here I come. Granted they are not going to win the Booker Prize for their literary brilliance, especially if you glance at the song titles, but they definitely have more potency than the Australia Ashes bowling attack.


The Songs
On first listen of this, the Australian's second album, (you see I had avoided their debut, did I really want another AC/DC wannabe?), especially the first quarter of the album, I already had some lines like 'played the first 4 songs I thought I had it on repeat as they all sounded the same', or 'brave on them to have a 18 minute opening track', I did chuckle. But it was track 5, namely 'Bottom Of The Well' that I started to understand what the appeal was. This is a brilliant track, mainly due to the pounding chorus and the use of slower verses which helped make a difference. With this adjustment on my initial view and mindset I started to listen more intently and soon realised that the opening quartet, while hardly stopped to draw breath do reflect power and intensity to show that Airbourne do have something to offer. You are soon rattling through the opener 'Born To Kill', while good is still slightly unspectacular. The first single 'No Way, But The Hard Way' has much more redeeming features, the drop in pace certainly helps and stamps it's authority on proceedings. The chorus is good, crunching rock and still remains very catchy. The future for this song lies either as a soundtrack for Rugby League matches or the latest management guru theory. 'Raise The Flag' even has a hint of early Saxon, especially regarding the guitar riffs or any of the first phase of the NWOBHM bands you would care to mention. So it seems in a frighteningly short time I am hooked, so even if you suffer from short term memory loss you will still be able to fully appreciate this recording. The speed displayed in the likes of 'It Ain't Over Till It's Over' and 'Back On The Bottle' means that these songs just leave vapour trails of their actual existence and so maybe abit too over the top for their own good. However the likes of 'White Line Fever' leaves a firm footprint on your forehead and this is more linked to touring than dodgy substances, with the white lines being those found on the centre of the road. Well the potholes continued to be avoided with 'Steel Town' which is packed full of catchy chorus, and anthemic verses. In fact the middle section probably contains the stronger part of this selection, add 'Chewin The Fat' to that list while you're at it, and I'm only starting to glance at the CD time counter as I near the end of 'Armed And Dangerous'. Just for my senses to be pricked again with 'Overdrive'. One further strange fact, is when I put this on my laptop, it automatically comes up with the graphics and track listing for the AC/DC 'Black Ice' album. Just as I was thinking of listing this on eBay as an AC/DC rarity it starts to play the Airbourne songs. Does anybody have an explanation why this happens? What does that tell you about the album and marketing campaign?


In Summary
While Jimmy Barnes is off covering 1950's and 60's songs we can be thankful that we have Airbourne flying the flag for Australia, otherwise I might had felt that the Aussies have gone all soft on us. Agreed, my first impressions on this quartet was, oh well, nothing new, but after subsequent listens (in fact only took a couple) and even though the overall feel is pretty similar, they do manage to contain different elements and together they manifest in one outcome being enjoyment and a care free feeling. Accept it for what it is and you will enjoy it even more. They do have the ability to channel the force of a freak Perth hailstorm into 3 minutes of chaotic riffing mayhem, magnificent. While it seems that most of my time is spent listening and exploring more avant-garde music, which to be honest probably shows how pretentious I am, rather than the groups who play it, I do find Airbourne to be a breath of fresh air, with its honesty and simplicity. However that's some of the qualities why I originally got in metal and rock in the first place, with the likes of Saxon, Iron Maiden and of course AC/DC. I'm convinced and totally surprised, but at the same time I am under no illusion as to whether or not I will be playing this at the end of the year, but at this precise moment in time, I don't care! As I'm having too much fun listening to this fine recording.


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Comments
#1 | george_the_jack on March 29 2010 16:09:02
'Same ol' same ol'' from these ACDC spawns...
#2 | dangerzone on March 29 2010 18:05:52
I think this is great. Some of these tracks are far better than what AC/DC are coming up with right now that's for sure.
#3 | MUSCLE on April 10 2010 16:25:13
this album kicks a whole heap of arse. great hooks with loads of meaty guitar riffs and cornball lyrics. cant beat it. have a beer
#4 | Jez on May 05 2010 11:10:19
Now we know what to expect soundwise, the band have lost some of their initial impact they had with 'Runnin' Wild' and there are absolutely no surprises on here whatsoever. That being said, there are some good tracks on show and it does rock hard in places, although at a whopping 18 tracks on the Special Edition version, it is way way too long. So an album that does exactly what is says on the tin, although everytime that I hear them, I always go back to my AC/DC and Rose Tattoo cd's which, it has to be said, are for the most part, are much better.
#5 | sabace on May 23 2010 14:58:01
at least they are better than ac/dc are currently . get ac/dc powerage for the real deal!
#6 | dangerzone on May 26 2010 16:42:02
I still think Bullet blow these guys away.
 
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