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Album Reviews : Airbourne – Black Dog Barking

By on June 1, 2013

AIRBOURNE-BLACK DOG BARKINGContinuing the trend of their previous album, three years later and Airbourne are back. This album brings back more of what you expect from this band. This is an unapologetic, fast-paced ride of sex, booze, rock, and women. The band has an uncanny ability to tap into that special-something that made bands like AC/DC so unique back in the ‘70’s, and what propelled them to rock and roll superstardom in the early ‘80’s. The seemingly simple method of transferring all the elements that make Australian pub rock what it is to a rock and roll record is something that has had many bands come and go that couldn’t quite grasp the attitude and lifestyle this genre has. There have been countless bands that have tried to achieve that ‘AC/DC feel’, yet very few have successfully done so. Airbourne is one of those rare bands that embodies that 1970’s spirit of pub rock when bands like AC/DC, The Angels, and Rose Tattoo were in their prime. The difference perhaps between this band and others is you can tell straight-up these guys don’t beat around the bush (AC/DC pun intended). They have a genuine love for this genre of music, and it shines through in both their lyrics and music.

Keeping the same formula as their two previous albums, Black Dog Barking is probably not all that different from what you’ve heard before. But, clearly it’s been proven this works as the world still craves bands like AC/DC and seemingly can’t get enough of them; a band that equally hasn’t really changed their style since they first formed back in the early ‘70’s. Perhaps one of the most significant changes I noticed about this record, however, is the almost Mutt Lange style production influence found on this record (the record producer most famous for producing Highway to Hell and Back in Black, and Hysteria by Def Leppard). Speaking of Def Leppard, the first few songs of Black Dog Barking recall a similar stadium rock feel about them with fist-pumping, crowd chanting anthems in the vein of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Rock of Ages”, and backing vocals that recalls “Walk All Over You” by AC/DC. The opening track “Ready to Rock” opens with a crowd-style chant before the track explodes with a rhythm section that will no doubt see this track becoming a great live opener for Airbourne. Tracks like “No one fits me (better than you)” and “Back in the Game” follow a similar mould.

Their most recent single “Live It Up” is definitely a highlight of the album. This is a straight-up hard rock track that, simply stated, is just fun to listen to. Admittedly, it opens with a minute-and-twenty-second intro that does feel rather unnecessary; and clearly others felt so as well, because it doesn’t feature in the music video they made. However, once the song kicks in, this minor fault is quickly forgiven. This is a track that will have you headbanging and bopping about.

The track “Hungry” is interesting to note for this band as its sound seems more akin to something like Alice Cooper or Mötley Crüe than what you’d initially expect. That being said, it’s darn catchy.

Like No Guts. No Glory. this is an album that will grow on you. Airbourne aren’t known for doing things in halves, and the band always aims to up the ante with each album. Consequently, this means that the bar is set higher with each record. It may take a little at first to get used to Black Dog Barking, but once you do, the payoff is definitely worth it. These are the sorts of albums you want to crank up while cruising down a highway in summer, and boy does it make you feel alive.

Band: Airbourne
Album: Black Dog Barking
Year: 2013
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Roadrunner
Origin: Australia

Track list:
1. Ready to Rock
2. Animalize
3. No One Fits Me (Better Than You)
4. Back in the Game
5. Firepower
6. Live It Up
7. Woman Like That
8. Hungry
9. Cradle to the Grave
10. Black Dog Barking


Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.