Rating:
7.9
Airbourne - Black Dog Barking
21 May 2013


Disc I
01. Ready To Rock
02. Animalize
03. No One Fits Me (Better Than You)
04. Back In The Game
05. Firepower
06. Live It Up
07. Woman Like That
08. Hungry
09. Cradle To The Grave
10. Black Dog Barking
11. Jack Attack [Deluxe Edition]
12. You Got The Skills (To Pay The Bills) [Deluxe Edition]
13. Party In The Penthouse [Deluxe Edition]

Disc II [Special edition - Live at Wacken Open Air Festival 2011]
01. Raise The Flag [live]
02. Born To Kill [live]
03. Diamond In The Rough [live]
04. Chewin' The Fat [live]
05. Blackjack [live]
06. Bottom Of The Well [live]
07. Girls In Black [live]
08. No Way But The Hard Way [live]


It goes without saying that Airbourne is essentially a carbon copy of AC/DC, a redundancy which needs no explaining. They made it work for two albums, though, and they have a decent shot at continuing the trend.

Even with the overwhelming AC/DC hero worship, it was still very cool to hear a revitalized, youthful aggression re-injected into that classic sound on Runnin' Wild and, to a lesser extent, No Guts. No Glory. Black Dog Barking is a mixed bag. The explosive enthusiasm still bleeds through here and there, and the songwriting follows the same basic concept. Yet overall, the album has a much more polished sound that drains out the grit and rawness that made Runnin' Wild a worthy indulgence. In fact, in many places the sound toes the thin line between bold, anthem-style hard rock and '80s glam sing-along. After the first three songs, I thought that Airbourne was turning into Skid Row or Mötley Crüe. Maybe the similarity is not THAT strong, but they were headed for an unwelcome commercialized catchiness a la Def Leppard or Whitesnake.

Fortunately, "Back In The Game" soon comes along to save the day. "Back In The Game" is a perfect song. I was surprised to find it on this album, but there is no getting around how wonderful it is. Everything that follows is much more enjoyable, especially the killer tracks "Live It Up" and "Cradle To The Grave." Joel O'Keefe has improved his singing in the past couple of years; he soars higher, screams louder, and sounds much more comfortable with his voice. The rest of the details follow as usual. The album thunders and plods and speeds with its bluesy influences and loud, unapologetic guitars, just like always.

Black Dog Barking satisfies enough for Airbourne to be pleased with it. I must have listened to it three or four times over the course of writing this review, and while it becomes more enjoyable with each listen, I still can't tell half the songs apart. But were you really expecting any less? Repetitive does not always mean bad, to which this album can attest.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 4
Production: 7


Band profile: Airbourne
Album: Black Dog Barking


 



Written on 10.11.2013 by
ScreamingSteelUS
I'm only in this for the money, fame, glory, power, and personal satisfaction.

In my spare time, I fight dragon-pig-C.H.U.D.s in space.

I feel obligated to use up all of my allotted space, so... nah, I'm out of stuff to say.
More reviews by ScreamingSteelUS ››



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The Shape 1973 - 10.11.2013 at 12:42  
Seeing them live in a few weeks, again.

Fun is the word to describe them...and live they certainly are fun.
Boxcar Willy - 10.11.2013 at 21:01  
Airbourne to me is like Slash's new abortion of a band. An attempt to cash in on something good that happened thirty years ago when it was actually cool.
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.11.2013 at 04:31  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 10.11.2013 at 21:01

Airbourne to me is like Slash's new abortion of a band. An attempt to cash in on something good that happened thirty years ago when it was actually cool.


Funny how you try and act all tr00, nekro, kvlt, grim, frostbitten and yet you like stuff which is trendy and hip and all yet was old when they started it like Gayheaven.
Boxcar Willy - 15.11.2013 at 04:49  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.11.2013 at 04:31

Funny how you try and act all tr00, nekro, kvlt, grim, frostbitten and yet you like stuff which is trendy and hip and all yet was old when they started it like Gayheaven.

It's funny how YOU call me on trying to be Tr00 etc.

I couldn't careless about any scene or whatever, this is just watered down ac/dc worship. Name the band Deafheaven is ripping off for me, because I'd sure love to hear them.
deadone - 03.02.2014 at 06:37  
Nothing wrong with AC/DC worship.

I'd rather listen to this whilst having a few brews than the latest Post-Office-Shoe-Staring-Presumptious-Blackened-Anal-Core-With-A-Pinch-Of-Garam-Masala.

Just listening to this album makes me want to crack open a cold one at the local pub and enjoy some live riffage.

That's what rock music's about.

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