Airbourne – Breakin’ Outta Hell (Spinefarm)

Genre: Classic Rock

No ballads, no bullshit is Airbourne’s mantra. It’s just as well. Hell will surely freeze over before the Aussie upstarts strip away the bombast, unplug the Marshall stacks and spark the lighters into action – prior to pouring out their hearts over a weepy love song.

For now they’re simply trying to break out of hell. But for a band like Airbourne, just as it was for fellow countrymen and idols AC/DC, hell ain’t a bad place to be. Perhaps the O’Keeffe brothers should stay exactly where they are: furiously spitting out sparky riffs and angsty lyrics from the very depths of the earth.

It’s where they belong and what they do best. New single Rivalry is a rather nasty case in point – it’s as bitter as it is ballsy and suggests these good-time guys from Warrnambool genuinely believe the time for bullshit is over.

You see Airbourne might not be balladeers. But they are responsible for the odd bullshit song. The suggestion that things have got serious is a bold claim for a band that’s always been as much about partying as scrapping their way to the top. But it’s a claim that – for the most part – rings true.

Joel O’Keeffe has rarely sounded so mean. Boosted by a bullish (rather than bullshit) Bob Marlette production, Airbourne’s frontman is on a mission to strike fear into rock fans everywhere: the title track, Thin The Blood and Down On You add a fresh layer of devilment to a band that’s always been capable of doing their stuff with a darker edge.

Then again When I Drink I Go Crazy and It’s All For Rock N’ Roll revert to reassuringly ridiculous type. And there’s no denying both songs sound bloody fantastic. No ballads, some bullshit: just as an Airbourne album should be.