There’s no doubt that the charm in AIRBOURNE’s debut offering lies in the fact that they sound undeniably like early ‘80’s AC/DC and that other Aussie lot ROSE TATTOO. ‘’Runnin’ Wild’’ is sweaty, energetic, head banging Hard Rock ‘N’ Roll supplemented with much foot-on-the-monitor style Heavy Metal. At no point through the course of this record do AIRBOURNE sound anything other than an extremely competent pub Rock covers band. However their conviction is palpable as it is redoubtable. This album manages to leave anything Young, Young and Johnson has recorded post 1984 absolutely redundant and although like THE DARKNESS AIRBOURNE might will be one album wonders they will make one hell of a mark with ‘’Runnin’ Wild’’.
Then opening riff to ‘’Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll’’ sounds like a bad attempt at MAIDEN’s ‘’Aces High’’ but soon picks up the pace and erupts into an absolute cracker. Vocalist Joel O’Keeffe sounds like Brian Johnson and that bloke with the high heels from CINDERELLA. His hoarse, gravely timbre perfectly catches the zeitgeist of the early 80’s and if you’ve caught the promo for the awesome stadium stomp single ‘’ Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’’ he does a great look-a-like for a certain Mr Hetfield. Each track pinches a riff from AC/DC somewhere, even a bit of KISS or QUIET RIOT but lets not beat around the bush the raucous assault of ‘’Diamond In The Rough’’ and ‘’BlackJack’’ simply ooze class from a hard working, Hard Rockin’ Aussie band.
This is simple, rough and ready Rock ‘N’ Roll perfectly suited for a night on the beers. Whether or not AIRBOURNE will kick start a career on the basis of this record remains to be seen but for the now they are the young pretenders to the AC/DC throne.
(Online March 5, 2008)