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Airbourne - Diamond Cuts album review

Aussie hard rockers celebrate 10 years of high-powered silliness

Cover art for Airbourne - Diamond Cuts album

If you like AC/DC or Motörhead, it’s difficult to see how you couldn’t like Airbourne. The way to really experience them is live (with rivers of beer), but this 10th anniversary box set – comprising their first three albums, a b-sides album and bonus documentary – is a sound alternative. There’s no let-up anywhere. There’s also no variety, but that’s not the point here. It’s full-throttle, three-chord hard rock, laden with tales of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and sticking it to the man. SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“3543f628-b180-4018-aba2-195de925a373” id=“300e0e7e-00b2-419f-b8b6-8cb43cb71a08”>Runnin’ Wild is their feral but joyous opening statement, No SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“3543f628-b180-4018-aba2-195de925a373” id=“33cbcf7a-cb12-4b3d-87af-1934172be906”>Guts No Glory delivered the likes of Chewin’ The Fat, and Black Dog Barking birthed mega-hits Live It Up and Ready To Rock. It’s not all killer, but the filler doesn’t detract from the tunes that really work. At times the b-sides feel like the cuts that were too daft for even Airbourne to push to a-side status – though there are excellent numbers here, including the hitherto unheard Money. Lyrically it can be so dumbass it’s laugh-out-loud funny, and the likes of My Dynamite Will Blow You Sky High and Loaded Gun leave so little to the imagination they could be the basis of an unorthodox sex-education video, but to see live footage is to surrender to their goodtime ethos, which you get in the documentary. Assembled by DJ/longtime fan Matt Stocks, it features the band reflecting on their career, alongside gig footage, behind-the-scenes banter and insights from their crew. Airbourne aren’t rewriting anything; they just offer a fervent, first-class version of a beloved rock’n’roll formula. We’ll take it.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.