It is hard to believe Australian party rockers Airbourne have already been around for ten years. After breaking onto the scene with 2007’s Runnin’ Wild, the band established themselves as a hard-working, hard-partying, hard-rockin’ outfit. Three albums, hundreds of shows, and hundreds of thousands of miles later, the boys are back with Breakin’ Outta Hell, and the theme of the album is summed up in the title.
The title track starts things off in predictable Airbourne fashion. It’s a propulsive, guitar-driven rabble-rouser of a song, full of energy and catchy as heck. Other highlights include the slow burning anthem “Rivalry,” the even-more-AC/DC-than-usual anthem “It’s Never too Loud for Me,” and album closing anthem “It’s All for Rock N’ Roll.”
In fact, as one might expect, every song on Breakin’ Outta Hell is a rowdy party anthem – or wants to be. The arrangements vary slightly from track to track, but the template remains as it has since the band’s inception – short and catchy songs drawing heavily from AC/DC, with lyrics about partying, booze, sex, and rock n’ roll.
But with every song’s goal being a fist-pumping arena (or seedy bar) anthem, the band doesn’t always succeed. Silly moments abound, and it is all intentional so it’s hard to decide how much to fault them for clunkers with awkward titles such as “Down on You,” “Do Me Like You Do Yourself,” and “When I Drink I Go Crazy.”
Airbourne are pushing their party animal personas to the limit on Breakin’ Outta Hell, and also pushing bad taste to the limits. On one hand, they do come across as party animals, but on the other hand, at times they come across as the weird, drunk uncle who regales your party with horribly inappropriate jokes.
Airbourne have a formula, and once again they stick to the script on Breakin’ Outta Hell. The music is loud and rowdy, perfect background music for drinking cheap beer in a trailer park. You can only write the same song so many ways, though, before it’s no longer worthy of attention, and with the exception of the aforementioned interesting moments, there’s not enough here to keep discerning listeners tuned in.
(released September 23, 2016 on Spinefarm Records)