Airbourne – Black Dog Barking


Artist

Album

Black Dog Barking

Label

Roadrunner

Year

2013

Genre

For Fans Of

AC/DC - Judas Priest - Rose Tattoo

Summary

No-nonsense hard rock.

Rating

67 / 100

While we conveniently use influences as a way of describing and putting into context a band’s sound, essentially you still want things to stand on their own. Locals Airbourne are doing a lot of things right, however there is simply no ignoring the elephant in the room. At times, it feels too much like AC/DC 2.0. While on the surface, this can be perceived as quite appealing – nothing wrong with being compared to arguably the greatest rock band. The issue though is individuality, or lack thereof, eventually catches up to everyone.

Airbourne tick a lot of the boxes. Their music is fun, lively and engaging. It’s honest and competent. Let’s not dissect or pick apart that aspect of the group’s make-up.

Third studio album, ‘Black Dog Barking’ will again invite and appeal to those that enjoy their VB stubbies cold and the footy plastered on the TV. That’s not intended as a simplistic comment or even one based on stereotype, the new full-length does have some charm.

Beginning with the bellowing and collective “woah-ohhs” in opener ‘Ready to Rock’, Airbourne quickly jump into and re-visit that hard rock template. 4/4 groove, with prominent riffs. It’s upbeat and contains a solid pulse.

Here’s where the small issue is (worth re-iterating, only a “small” issue): the music is solid, but doesn’t distance itself enough from its direct influences. Subsequent tracks reveal and sound like everything we already know. Hard rock doesn’t dictate nor is it defined by progression so perhaps we can excuse things slightly? But, still it’s very much a ‘same old’ approach. Main single ‘Live It Up’ does present things in a suitable manner though.

An enjoyable albeit a little derivative record.

Conclusion

Rock ‘n’ roll is still going strong and Airbourne, for their part, are on the more favourable side of the ledger. ‘Black Dog Barking’ is not reinventing the wheel, it’s not even offering a different side of the page, but if you can overlook the lack of exclusivity this record is effective enough.

Tracklisting

1. Ready To Rock
2. Animalize
3. No One Fits Me (Better Than You)
4. Back In The Game
5. Firepower
6. Live It Up
7. Woman Like That
8. Hungry
9. Cradle To The Grave
10. Black Dog Barking
11. Jack Attack
12. You Got The Skills (To Pay The Bills)
13. Party In The Penthouse

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