Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Australian hard rockers Airbourne are back with their 4th studio album, ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell,’ and although it does unsurprisingly sound the same to their previous records, it’s harder, it’s faster and it’s ballsier than ever. Airbourne’s front man Joel O’Keeffe states that, “Ultimately, we just wanted to make a great drinking record, no ballads and no bullshit.” And it’s true, whether you’re pissed off, ready to fight or just need to wake yourself up in the morning to haul your ass out of bed to your dead-end job where you hate your boss, it truly is a ‘no bullshit allowed’ album.
Ritualistic to Airbourne, the title track and album opener is an in-your-face, full throttle, straight into the deep end song that Airbourne are known for, with lyrics like ‘I’m a crazy motherfucker/and I just don’t care!’ The very characteristic we love them for.
Their second single, ‘Rivalry,’ covers a close to home topic that Airbourne have openly and passionately spoken about. As well as a catchy, funky blues riff that kick starts the song, the lyrics ‘there’s a burning friction/that fuels this fire...there’s no backing down/I’m gonna stand my ground,’ Airbourne gives the middle fingers to all the big men trying to shut down the rock venues in their home town. The ‘woah’s’ throughout the song also gives it an anthemic vibe that audiences will easily be able to get behind; it’s one for the masses.
The song ‘Get Back Up’ could be applied to anyone, which makes it easily relatable. The title says it all, when you go through something so tragic that it should crush you altogether, yet you have the guts to say, ‘not today big guy,’ and you push through despite all odds and you just get back up and prove the entire world wrong.
‘It’s Never Too Loud For Me’ once again goes back to the shutting down of local rock venues by the government. Airbourne state that, ‘it may be too loud for you, but it’s never too loud for me!’ And it’s never too loud for us either!
Certainly the fastest track on the album, ‘Thin The Blood’ has the energy of a punk song all the while keeping it good old fashioned rock and roll. Another easily relatable song as the first verse is about getting to the end of your working week on the Friday and living it up while the second verse is the hangover come down we all dread. Definitely a drinking anthem that will go down in Airbourne’s history.
We’ve all done something we know we’re not supposed to do regardless of the consequences, just for the thrill of it, in Airbourne’s case it’s engaging in intercourse with a married woman; ‘Temptation on two legs/like the wedding ring wrapped around her finger...’ ‘I’m Going To Hell For This’ is once again a relatable anthem for all teenage delinquents and adult rebels.
‘Down On You’ isn’t really a song that needs a lengthy explanation, you can take a guess exactly what it’s about from the songs title. An acclaim to bedroom activities and a song about how much the boys of Airbourne love eating. Take from that what you will.
‘Never Been Rocked Like This’ is another song that explains itself in the title. Whether it was a party, a night in with a lover or a high-energy sweaty gig, ‘Never Been Rocked Like This’ is nothing but a good time in itself.
‘When I Drink I Go Crazy’ is most certainly an autobiographical song for the band, as it seems to be one of their favoured hobbies. The lyric, ‘Standing drunk in the middle of the road/directing traffic like a ninja,’ drummer Ryan says the line came to him when, after a night out he witnessed Joel...well, doing exactly that!
It’s hard to believe that previous songs don’t count as gimmes to the boys of Airbourne, yet they seem to think ‘Do Me Like You Do Yourself’ stands out more from the crowd. With lyrics like, ‘I was flipping a record/when I heard you next door/pulled back the curtains/couldn’t believe what I saw,’ it seems this lucky chap is witnessing every young lads juvenile fantasy of the girl next door, in which, low and behold, his fantasy becomes a reality.
Any fans of Airbourne would’ve noticed the iconic Motor Head rock God, Lemmy, in Airbourne’s ‘Runnin’ Wild’ music video. The musicians remained friends and so it’s easy to see how much of a loss he was to the rock world and the boys of Airbourne when he left us. The closing and finale song on the album, ‘It’s All For Rock And Roll,’ is a tribute to Lemmy and all of the rock icons who have sadly left us in recent years. The lyrics, ‘It’s all for one/it’s one for all/it’s all for rock and roll,’ reminds us that rock and metal is a community, a friendship and a slightly dysfunctional family.
‘Breakin’ Outta Hell,’ for me, is definitely the best Airbourne have done so far. They’ve taken what they’ve learnt from their previous albums, they know what works now and what doesn’t, and they’ve combined that all together to create a living, breathing, hungry monster that is ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell.’