Release Date: May 21, 2013
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Aussie Rock
Simply put, this is Airbourne’s Slippery when Wet. Like Bon Jovi in 1986, the Australian hard rockers have hired a Vancouver-based producer—in this case, Brian Howes (Nickelback), rather than the late Bruce Fairbairn—and added a radio-friendly sheen to their career-defining third studio album. The vintage “Whoa-oh” gang chorus that kicks off “Ready to Rock” shows they’re gunning to dominate arenas.
It would be easy to be cynical about Airbourne. An unashamedly gruff and primal rock'n'roll band from Australia, dominated by the scabrous bellow and thudding percussive pulse of siblings Joel and Ryan O'Keeffe, they have so much in common with AC/DC that you could perceive the whole enterprise as a passing of the stadium-rock torch to a new generation. What has consistently saved the Warrnambool quartet, however, is the electrifying verve with which they attack their joyously simplistic songs.
While there's certainly a lot to be said about innovation, a band like Airbourne really makes you step back and appreciate the simplicity of the old ways. Cut from the same cloth as AC/DC and Krokus, the Australian band return with Black Dog Barking, their third album of unabashedly badass hard rock. Though the band might owe a serious debt to their forefathers, they repay it with plenty of swagger, grit, and sleaze, serving up an album of high-octane rock & roll that's built for pure enjoyment rather than chin-stroking scrutiny.