Four albums in, everyone knows exactly what to expect from Airbourne. Since debuting in the UK at London’s Borderline, the four-piece from Warrnambool have spent eight years earning a reputation as one of the most unmissable live acts around.
And the band’s records? Mostly they’ve been pretty good, though transferring the sheer ear-splitting excitement of their concerts into the listener’s living room has recently proven tougher than anyone expected. Airbourne’s heroes AC/DC managed it, as did fellow Aussie icons Rose Tattoo, and sure enough there are times here when the band come close to matching such lofty standards.
The album’s title cut, an “anti-bullshit and boredom anthem” is a brilliant opener, the likes of Get Back Up, It’s Never Too Loud For Me, I Go Crazy When I Drink, I’m Going To Hell For This and the salacious Down On You continuing the exceptional work. Delivered in Joel O’Keefe’s gravel-voiced roar, all tap into the band’s gloriously booze-soaked, expletive-charged modus operandi and are surely destined to become part of their onstage repertoire. And yet a handful of less spectacular tunes, including Rivalry, Thin The Blood and Never Been Rocked Like This still manage to dampen the party mood just a little. It’s frustrating, as at its best, Breakin’ Outta Hell offers a firm reminder of why Airbourne were once welcomed as such highly prized newcomers.