Hard-rocking Aussies deliver a second album of aural Prozac for the 21st century.
Greg Moffitt 2010-03-12
The hotly-anticipated follow-up to Airbourne’s barnstorming 2007 debut does not disappoint. It should also come as no surprise to anyone that No Guts. No Glory. is Runnin’ Wild part two. After all, the Aussie rockers set out their stall in considerable style, and it’s way too early to be moving the merchandise up-market. In the world of hard rock and heavy metal, originality is not particularly prized. The real treasure lies in forging a fistful of the hoariest old clichés into glorious, mind-blowing, max-volume gold. It’s harder than it sounds, but these guys have it down.
Rough, tough and tighter than spray-on jeans, the bad lads from Warrnambool, Victoria are taking the explosive, in-your-face energy of fellow countrymen AC/DC and Rose Tattoo to a new generation. Their fusion of rock, blues and boogie is instantly infectious, and if preserving the past is their sole purpose, it’s a noble one.
Delivering cheap thrills with no questions asked, No Guts. No Glory. is an exuberant celebration of youthful verve, vitality and, inevitably, rebellion. No Way But the Hard Way, Blonde, Bad and Beautiful, Back on the Bottle: the song titles alone tell booze-drenched and sometimes sordid tales of hard rockin’, hard drinking and generally having nothing left to lose. Musically, it’s always all and never nothing. Bottom of the Well is the closest they ever come to a change of pace, and it’s no ballad.
Fronted by lovable lunatic Joel O'Keeffe, Airbourne’s success has largely been built on their bulldozing live show. The stage is their natural habitat, where they reign supreme amid a tantalizing scent of danger. No great shock, then, that they’ve yet to find a way to bottle the magic for mass consumption. This raucous collection of three-minute knee-tremblers, however, is as close as it gets. Swilling whiskey and spitting gravel, over-driven and over here, this is aural Prozac for the 21st century.