Airbourne: Putting the Fun Back Into Music Since 2003


Ever since I was a simple spermatozoon I’ve been an avid rock fan. Not any of that rock n roll nonsense which, despite once being seen as rebellious, is as controversial as a Carry On film. Since the frequency of me being positive is up there with brown bin collection, I decided to review something that I actually enjoy.

Which leads us to Airbourne, a band who many argue have a suspiciously similar sound to ACDC: much like how every nerd argues endlessly over something as asinine as Kirk or Picard (it's the latter by the way). Some even claim that they stole ACDC's sound, but to that I say "callate cabron". Sure, they may share similar styles, but that is entirely the point. Airbourne are clearly influenced by ACDC and want to play the same music, which is where it ends. There is no Crooked X stealing the main riff from Iron Maiden’s Wasted Years situation here. 

Typically, the themes of their music focus on sex, drugs and keeping the spirit of rock alive; you know, things that are actually fun. To truly appreciate the riffs and solos you would have to enlist in the army, invade foreign soil, and play them at full volume whilst taking a ride in a Bell UH-1 Iroquois over battle scarred land. Vietnam style. Airbourne truly are a breath of fresh air in a rock and metal scene that has become too serious and too indited with rules of what it should and shouldn't sound like. Go onto Youtube and read the comments on any metal video. It's as senseless as the Bolivian parliament.


Rockers and Metallers are like the revolutionaries that have overthrown their oppressive leaders - enjoying the freedom of their way of life to begin with before becoming just as bad as their enemies - and that shouldn't be. So this is why Airbourne hold such a dear place in my heart: they are capable of writing music that you struggle to not bang your head to when you're on the back of the bus, but more importantly they understand the importance of fun. It's a fantastic feeling to be able to appreciate a band without having to worry about how to categorise them. Unlike when my media player becomes possessed by the Spirit of Chuck Schuldiner and brazenly claims that Death are not a Death Metal band. Which is like saying Debbie Does Dallas is not a heartwarming tale about a young woman trying to follow her dreams.

Runnin’ Wild is the perfect child poster child for this: a song simply about frontman Joel O'Keeffe breaking up with his partner - who is a complete vulva - and taking to the open road. The video features the band playing in the back of a speeding truck (driven by none other than Lemmy), attempting to evade the police with the arrogant determination of Ryan Giggs trying to enforce a super-injunction. It's all the highs of being Charlie Sheen minus the crippling feeling of your entire life crumbling all around you.

The riff for the chorus is a very concise and features a catchy rhythm which draws you into the experience, so when Joel sings “the open road is all I need” you actually feel it. This is an art that Airbourne have mastered, writing riffs for the verses that just want to make you head bang, then tightening it up for the chorus to make you feel exactly what they want you to feel. Do not take this as an indication that Airbourne are not technical players, because they certainly can be as technical as an essay by Albert Einstein when they need to. Give both albums (Runnin’ Wild, and No Guts. No Glory.) a listen, and you’ll feel like you are the collateral in the aftermath of antimatter gate crashing a matter house party.