Airbourne – Breakin’ Outta Hell

8 Overall Score
Singalongs: 9/10
Catchiness: 9/10
Originality: 7/10

Classic rock lives on

Nothing breathtakingly new


Light the fuse and retreat to a safe distance, Airbourne are ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’ so expect fireworks.

Classic rock’s not about to change and while some might consider that the genre’s Achilles heel, Aussie Airbourne’s fourth effort proves that progress can be made in subtle ways that won’t give hardcore fans a heart attack.

Joel O’Keeffe’s devilish vocal charm and an incendiary solo bleed through the contagious sing-along of the title track, and it’s not long before ‘I’m Going to Hell for This’ drags its devil may care attitude to the surface. While all hell breaks loose through ‘Rivalry’s slow groove, there’s a clear confrontational vibe through ‘Get Back Up’ and a sensationally complacent opening – “Let the world fall down and see if I care.”

Punch the air and powerslide all the way to the underworld through the gloriously repetitive ‘It’s Never Too Loud for Me’, Airbourne’s accessible rock has all the bite of a 2016 banger yet all the carefree recklessness of the seventies’ golden age. ‘Down on You’ beckons a not-so-familiar aspect – you can guess the subject matter by the title but nothing prepares you for the unashamedly filthy lyrics with zero euphemisms in sight. Classic rock’s addressed carnal desires before, but this D-rated addition certainly catches you off guard.

If that was too much change to handle, the traditional relentless ode to cold ethyl ‘When I Drink I Go Crazy’ packs so much of a punch that it leaves you with a faint hangover. Now you’re suitably hyped, ‘Do Me Like You Do Yourself’ provides a heavenly solo and a good old shout-along, but ‘It’s All for Rock and Roll’ steals the limelight with a terrific solidarity anthem – it’s almost ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You’ for the present day.

How much would you give for rock and roll? Airbourne have sold their souls to the devil, drank and fornicated their way through the afterlife and come out the other side. It’s been a wild ride, but it’s not over yet.

‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’ is out now via Spinefarm Records.

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Author: Ali Cooper View all posts by
Resident goth, metal historian and walking thesaurus.