Runnin' Wild review by Airbourne

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  • Released: Jun 25, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (111 votes)
Airbourne: Runnin' Wild

Sound — 8
When you kick off your debut album with a song called Stand Up for Rock-n-Roll, you better deliver the goods to back it up! Airbourne actually go above and beyond the task. Once they get past the guitar intro's arrpegiated crescendos, the band come in full strength to start things off in fine blues-rock fashion! The filthy toned guitars of Joel O'Keeffe (also the lead singer) and David Roads tip their hat to the work of AC/DC's assault team of Angus and Malcolm Young as well as The Cult's Billy Duffy. O'Keeffe and Roads deal out the kinds of riffs that will inspire air guitarists from Osaka to Omaha! The thick barre chords that open up Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast, reminiscent of Kiss staple Cold Gin, just begs you to reach for the volume knob. The meat and potatoes production by Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper) is a no-brainer. He does a stellar job of capturing the rhythm section of drummer Ryan O'Keeffe and four stringer Justin Street's steady bottom end. There was no need to clutter the sound or arrangements here and the veteran producer does a great job of getting out of the way and letting the songs breathe out.

Lyrics — 8
Any band that names one of their songs Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women isn't going to win a Pulitzer Prize. But then again, Highway to Hell didn't either and we're still singing along almost thirty years later. Airbourne's lyrics embody the very things that made rock-n-roll so dangerous yet alluring in the first place. Bon Scott would have been proud of gems like, I sealed the deal and she said "yes"/so I put my hands right up her dress/ N' she said what's been taking you so long, from the song Heartbreaker. The AC/DC comparisons never stop coming with Stand Up for Rock-n-Roll being a close lyrical cousin to Let There Be Rock with it's brash declarations and tales of depravity.

Overall Impression — 8
My fellow critics throughout Europe have largely dismissed Airbourne as nothing more than mere clones. Do they ape a lot of, OK, most of AC/DC's blueprint? Sure they do. So has Rhino Bucket, Jet, Dirty Looks, Supagroup, The Datsuns and many others. Some have fared much better than others. The bottom line is Airbourne do it better than anyone else. They don't only nail the sound down, they also capture the very essence of what continues to make AC/DC so revered in the first place. This is where most of the other tributes fell short. Joel O'Keeffe's police siren of a voice is tailor made for blitzkriegs like Blackjack and What's Eatin' You. He snarls and screeches through every line as if someone has a gun pointed at his head! He also gets double points for his incendiary lead guitar solos. Not only do scream out like vintage Joe Perry, they're instantly memorable. They are so utterly ingrained into the fabric of the songs that if your band ever decides to cover them, you'll have to learn the solo note for note. So let the critics have their say but don't let them rain on this parade. You have to take Runnin' Wild for all it really is; a kick-ass, party-rock record! If they ever decide to release a deluxe edition of this album, they should include a six-pack of the best Australian beer!

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ive seen Airbourne live, and they put on a show for you. They're influenced by decent bands and that shows. Listen to the solos, its not like his ripping acdc off note for note. These guys are the first new real rock and roll band to surface in a long time.
    TheSoupDragon wrote: It's not even funny how exactly the same as AC/DC they are. And no, that isn't a good thing. Even if I thought AC/DC weren't offensively overrated it would still be a very bad thing. I saw Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast on Kerrang today, I assumed it was a cover of a DC song I'd not heard. [Although I do own Back In Black, so there isn't a DC song I've not heard] I listened to most of all the songs on their myspace before anyone says anything. But yeah, I don't see how you can applaud them for doing something different to the current music scene if they're gonna clone another band anyway.
    heh, I've always thought that TMTYTF was the unofficial sequel to Highway to Hell. The words fit on top pretty well.
    if you do your research, you'll find that they weren't exactly popular in their home town! they didn't set out to "copy" ACDC, they were just inspired by them. they are bringing back the long since buried Australian pub-rock, they care about making music, not making money from their music like most new bands.
    And even if it was just rip-off, still better than any of this emo shit these days.
    Rocker_94 wrote: Garbage. Get your own voice and sound.
    stop being an ignorant prick. i got this album for xmas, and it's basically like ac/dc with better vocals that brian johnson, and more energy if thats possible. its awesome, one of my favourites.
    saw them live a while ago. i laughed through there entire set. he yelled all his midsong thanks in that same voice. ha..... terrible.
    Dragon Master
    Now, Led Zeppelin is the greatest rock band of all time, next to the Stones, the Who, the Beatles, Guns 'N' Roses, and T-Rex. Aibourne, while certainly enjoyable, would have been better set in the 1980's. At least glam metal bands were original, while taking an ACDC stance.
    Back in Red
    Garbage. Get your own voice and sound.
    Yeah, but I mean, you have to at LEAST give them credit, I mean, they ARE pretty good.
    Dragon Master
    Well, Jet really isn't a ripoff act, because they have their own sound. Yes, alot of influences can be seen from it, but Jet has somewhat more heart than ACDC before them(Not that Jet's better.) Airbourne is a rip-off.... A likable ripoff!
    Airbourne ****in rock! thats all there is to it guys. its nice to hear guys using AC/DC's method of rock n roll. lyrics on good times, chicks n booze. ya dont get much more rock than that
    Wolfmother > Airborne , more original better live shows, both Australian rock bands if i wanted to listen to ac/dc i would listen to ac/dc not this
    Yeah the Too Much Too Young Too Fast does sound like AC/DC but thats not a bad thing lol.....great band can't wait for their next album
    in mainstream rock well... its been re named emo u have complete bolouks and anyone who says green day or blink arnt emo ye true there not emo but they promote it buy letting the emo bands open on tour for them. so its awsome to have a band who have there own style ye it is like ac/dc but if bands didnt rip off other bands where would the rock world be? mabi they will take the sound of ac/dc and turn it into somthing more to there own style but ac/dc arnt doing anything new and if they did it mighnt not do really well so its good to have a fresh face respect ac/dc but dont let that stop you from lisning other bands i mean u all love ac/dc so mutch if you started a band and was compared to your rock heros ud be honnord.. well i would anyway
    hm what is it whith australians beign amazing good with hardrock/blues music or i should call it pub rock, these guysare good its nice to see a band dust offan old bone and put pub rock in a new light true its the same song structure as a lot of ACDC but still they do it with a passion that alot of bands dont... also any one who doesnt like these guys probally listen to bands like underoath and trivium (tho guitar wise trivium is pretty f n good, underoath is just horrible in general)