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Album Reviews : Airbourne – No Guts. No Glory

By on March 15, 2010

Nogutsnoglory240No Guts. No Glory is the second liquored-up, sweaty and truly Aussie offering by Australian rock ‘n roll band Airbourne. The first album Runnin’ Wild, while being nothing particularly new, and far from musically profound, was simply fantastic. It was a stellar example of good ol’ fashioned Aussie pub rock that we as well as the rest of the  world (as shown by AC/DC) can’t get enough of. And indeed the first thing that comes to mind when people first hear Airbourne is often “Sounds like AC/DC” – which can be booed or applauded depending on your perspective. And indeed I will agree that they sound a lot like AC/DC both musically and lyrically, but they have an intensity and excitement about them that seems to surpass even that of AC/DC. No Guts. No Glory is in this way quite similar to the debut album, but with a little more variety in song structure and lyrical content.

The opening track Born to Kill is fast, exciting and full of attitude – the only way to open a Rock ‘n Roll album, and shows that despite straining his impressive vocal  chords, singer/guitarist Joel O’Keefe puts even more energy and blistering harshness into this album than the last. You can immediately tell that the production, while  tweaked slightly, retains that crisp, flawless tone, allowing you to pick up every instruments individual performance (including Street’s 4-string) while still retaining the looseness of an old fashioned rock record.

What follows is an extremely solid set of fun-filled (if slightly samey) rock anthems. However, as I mentioned earlier, this album does show a little more variety. There are the really fast, really basic numbers like It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, and then there are the slower chugging songs that will be easier to sing along to for a live crowd that will inevitably have more beer than blood in their veins. Then there’s Bottom of the Well, which is unlike any other song released by Airbourne. It starts with a bluesy, atmospheric solo, with subtle backing – with a verse that demonstrates what an awesome rock n roll voice O’Keefe has. It then builds up masterly to a chorus that screams with power and attitude. It is easily my favourite song on the record. The guitar solos across the album have a distinctly Angus Young sound to them, but that doesn’t really detract from how great they are.

Lyrically, the majority of songs consist of the basic topics of sex, drugs/booze and Rock ‘n Roll. Then there are songs like No Way But The Hard Way and Steel Town in which we see the boy’s working class roots shine through. Apart from these the lyrics are enjoyable but undeniable generic, as are some of the songs they are written for – Get Busy Living and Overdrive have a certain filler feel to them, lacking that certain individual charm that stops the other songs from joining them.

Overall, if you like good hard rock: band like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels – You will really like this album. Like their obvious heroes AC/DC, Airbourne never pretend to be anything but a rock ‘n roll band whose purpose is to entertain you and enjoy themselves while doing it – and this is what gives both their albums such charm. As long as you know what to expect, you’ll love the album and I highly recommend it.


Band: Airbourne
Album: No Guts. No Glory.
Year: 2010
Genre: Rock ‘n Roll
Origin: Warrnambool, Australia
Label: Roadrunner/EMI

Track Listing:
1. Born To Kill
2. No Way But The Hard Way
3. Blonde, Bad and Beautiful
4. Raise The Flag
5. Bottom Of The Well (Reviewer’s Choice)
6. White Line Fever
7. It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over
8. Steel Town
9. Chewin’ The Fat
10. Get Busy Livin’
11. Armed And Dangerous
12. Overdrive
13. Back On The Bottle

Reviewed by Cameron Hawthorne.


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.