AIRBOURNE – Boneshaker (2019)
For their fifth studio album, ‘Boneshaker’, all-action Aussie rockers AIRBOURNE decided to take the bolder path; to align with arguably Nashville’s number one producer, Dave Cobb, whose credits include the ‘Star Is Born’ soundtrack, as a way of staking out new turf, not just for themselves but for the hard rock genre per se…
Relocating to historic Studio A on Nashville’s Music Row, Cobb’s natural home and one of Music City’s most prized creative hubs, the four musicians set themselves a challenge: to make a record cut from the same frayed cloth as those classic late-’70s recordings – from an age before technology was driving the show, when it was all about energy, spirit and on-the-spot performance; when tape machines still added that extra warmth an’ weight, and when the quest wasn’t for perfection, it was for tracks that connected on an emotional, primal, gut level – in-your-face recordings laying bare the raw, ragged glory of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, and if the levels sometimes peaked into the danger zone, well, all the better.
When asked what he thought the album should be titled, Dave Cobb’s response was instant: “This is a f*kin’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Record!” And you can see his point…
There are no weird tangents here, no un-called for asides, no messin’ about. This is straight-down-the-line pure rock ‘n’ roll drama smelling of burnt rubber, spilt gasoline and valves glowing red hot.
No ballads, no acoustic guitars, no keyboards. 10 tracks, 30 minutes of music.
Everything lean an’ lethal, stripped to the bone, to those essential elements that rock ‘n’ roll requires to properly do its work: raging guitars, pounding bass ‘n’ bass, vocals packed full of real personality – the kind of passion that only comes from wilfully pursuing a life on the line.
From opener ‘Boneshaker’ to closer ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll For Life’, a song held together with safety pins an’ sweat, Airbourne take us on a (wooden) rollercoaster ride devoid of anything that might slow the pace or stop the heart from pumping.
With ‘Weapon Of War’ they touch on territory that demands a more reflective approach, but this does nothing to make the rock less potent, quite the opposite.
At a time when the hard rock world is seeking a shot in its tattooed arm, Airbourne deliver a taut body of work cut with greater swagger, groove and conviction than ever.
It rocks, greatly.
02. Burnout The Nitro
03. This Is Our City
04. Sex To Go
05. Backseat Boogie
06. Blood In The Water
07. She Gives Me Hell
08. Switchblade Angel
09. Weapon Of War
10. Rock ‘N’ Roll For Life
Joel O’Keeffe – vocals / lead guitar
Matt “Harri” Harrison – guitar
Justin Street – bass
Ryan O’Keeffe – drums