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Airbourne – Breakin’ Outta Hell review

Chances are, you have heard of Airbourne, the hard-rocking quartet from Australia, with their catchy, distinctive rock sound and notorious live performances packed full of maximum energy and maximum entertainment. If you haven’t heard of them, then you have probably been living under an actual rock (sorry).

Breakin’ Outta Hell will be their fourth studio album since their establishment in 2003, after signing a new deal with Spinefarm Records, and it will be released on September 16th. The album has been produced by Bob Marlette who took the helm on Airbourne’s debut album Runnin’ Wild in 2007, and engineered and mixed by Mike Fraser; who has worked with rock royalty such as Aerosmith, Van Halen and Metallica.

Breakin’ Outta Hell will surely please old and new fans alike, with a quintessentially Airbourne sound; with hints of Twisted Sister, WASP, Motorhead and Revenge-era KISS all discernible in the easy listening rock medley.

We fire into the title track and released single of the album, Breakin’ Outta Hell which is a classic Airbourne track with a Twisted Sister vibe. It’s a solid start, which hammers straight into the song. Vocals have a really hard edge, like a sledgehammer to the skull. Throughout the track, the guitars are top-notch, and there is a decent guitar solo towards the end. After that particularly catchy and strong intro into the album, we ease into Rivalry – which is easily one of my favourite tracks on the album.

It begins with a climatic ascending set of vocals, which rise into a classic rock track with a decent walking beat. It’s full of big beats and snarling vocals, with atmospheric choral backing vocals. It’s a familiar-sounding track, like climbing into your favourite sweat pants after a long hard day at work, with a phenomenal guitar solo towards the end again.

Next is Get Back Up which is not my personal favourite on the album, but it does have a concrete sound to it – which is reminiscent of AC/DC and Motorhead; with brawny vocals and guitar solo before it heads into It’s Never Too Loud for Me. This track is another strong continuation of the album’s theme, more solid vocals and instrument work. It has a respectable chorus and is another archetypal Airbourne track – which is certainly no bad thing. It has a great vocal fade out with backing vocals, and the guitars end abruptly which wind the track down.

I really like Thin the Blood which comes next, as it is fast-paced and the melodic guitars wind throughout the song which sound fabulous. The song has a distinct Motorhead vibe in my opinion, with the hint of a country sound entwined – which is a recipe for success in my eyes. The guitar work is amazing and really impresses the listener, continuing to evoke the listener’s joy for this unashamed slab of hard-rock by utilising a stunning solo two minutes in.

The decent tracks are still coming thick and fast, with I’m Going to Hell For This hammering onto the stereo next with an aggressive guitar for starters, which brings in the drums and a ear-shattering scream. Again it is a nice solid track, which to me is reminiscent of Revenge-era KISS, and makes it one of my favourites because of that. It is no secret I am a massive KISS fan…

Again the high points continue with Down on You, just constant fun for four minutes straight with a hint of fifties rock and twanging guitars. It’s another personal favourite of mine, with its unsympathetic Twisted Sister sound and big attitude; which continues into Never Been Rocked Like This – another decent track to add this album’s already impressive repertoire.

The album finishes on a run of three spectacular high quality rocking anthems with When I Drink I Go Crazy, Do Me Like You Do Yourself and It’s All for Rock and Roll. All are immensely fun songs, with great lyrics, raging guitar solos and more spectacular vocal work from Joel O’Keeffe. Do Me… has great vibes of Blackie Lawless in the vocals which I loved, and It’s All for Rock and Roll was yet another personal favourite.

All in all, Breakin’ Outta Hell is a phenomenal album from Airbourne, and makes your head resonate with its beefy guitars and snarling vocals continuing to please throughout and whilst you’re listening to the album, time passes without you even realising. I’ve listened to the album four times now and each time I could not believe that I had listened to it all already and it was now forty minutes later than when I had first looked at the clock…

So if you like big-hitting guitars and snarling vocals wrapped up in a neat hard rock package then I believe you will like Breakin’ Outta Hell very much indeed, and it is worthy of a listen for the amount of fun it exudes just for that reason alone.

Niki Flynn

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