• Airbourne – No Guts, No Glory

    Released by: Roadrunner Records
    Release Date: 4/20/2010
    List Price: $13.99
    Purchase From Amazon

    Note: The following review is based on a digital download supplied for review purposes, so we’ve no idea if it comes with nifty inserts or bonus material of any kind.

    An Australian rock and roll band that sounds an awful lot like, go figure, AC/DC, Airbourne has been around since 2003 and are starting to get a bit of momentum going. While AC/DC seems to have influenced a lot of current bands (NYC’s Cheeseburger are a perfect example), Airbourne can at least claim a bit more geographical authenticity than their American and European counterparts – for whatever that’s worth.

    No Guts, No Glory is the band’s second full length (which follows 2007’s EMI release, Runnin’ Wild) finds the foursome – made up of vocalist and lead guitar player Joel O’Keefe, drummer Ryan O’Keefe, rhythm guitar player David Roads and bass guitar player Justin Street – fully embracing Bon Scott’s rock and roll legacy and throwing in a few lessons from the gospel of Lemmy and maybe a bit of the thick grooves that Thin Lizzy were known for just in case. The thirteen tracks on this release vary in speed and tempo but all of them deliver the kind of straight forward, no bullshit boogie rock that you’d want. They wear their influences very plainly on their sleeves but once you get past the fact that almost all of what they do sounds very familiar, you can appreciate that no matter how familiar it all is, it’s done quite well.

    The band seems to have a one track mind in that the songs are all about rockin’ or fuckin’ but these are tried and very true mantras that always warrant further explanation and when O’Keefe sings about the Blonde, Bad And Beautiful ladies of his life as he does on the album’s third track you get the impression that he’s been there and that he means it. The guitar playing is, in the great Angus Young tradition, very riff heavy and easy to get your foot tapping to while the hooks and choruses are catchy and might having you singing along before you realize it.

    Whether or not the band have the staying power or not remains to be seen. It’s easy to see them as nothing more than another AC/DC rip off, but they’ve managed to build a pretty solid following over the last few years and you can now hear their music popping up everywhere from NASCAR to WWE entrance music to video games and more. This means that either people are really digging it more than most of us realize or that the band has got a knack for cross promotion. Either way, that doesn’t change the fact that No Guts, No Glory is a really easy record to listen to. Does it deviate from the first album? Not in the least, in fact, when compared to the first album this second offering seems almost formulaic, but the combination of booze soaked vocals and crunching guitar sounds works that’s been hard to resist since it rose to prominence in the seventies proves just as alluring now as it was back then. Tracks like the opening salvo, Born To Kill, and the Motorhead-esque White Line Fever let you know right away where these guys are coming from and, originality by damned, this album is a whole lot of fun to listen to.