Airbourne – Black Dog Barking

Who does Kanye think he is? Reinventing himself every other album? Advancing pop music through sheer willpower? Whatever. You know what’s hard? Doing the same thing over and over again, with diminishing returns. That’s hard.

Which is why Airbourne are the hardest band around. They don’t care that they’ll be remembered as a million-dollar mistake, if at all – they’re too busy rocking. Black Dog Barking rocks so hard that I’m surprised they were able to fit all that rock onto a compact disc of rock. Black Dog Barking has everything you could ask for: riffs as hard as the devil’s fist, manly chant-alongs, not-quite-as-manly squealing, lyrics about chicks and drinking and rocking out, sexy double entendres, and those great little iddly-iddly guitar solos – you can practically taste the sticky carpet.

The album is a wild ride from start to finish, so chock-full of highlights that it’s hard to know where to start: Joel O’Keeffe bellowing “Stick this in your slot!” prior to his solo on Nevada sex-industry anthem ‘Animalize’; advising that “If you need some satisfaction, I’ll be your pump action” on ‘Firepower’; the fancy Spanish bit at the start of ‘Hungry’ is also pretty cool; and drummer Ryan O’Keeffe’s sturdy timekeeping throughout the record holds everything together.

People will say that Warrnambool’s finest haven’t progressed since their debut Runnin’ Wild announced them internationally, but something tells me that Airbourne don’t care. These guys aren’t Kanye West. They’re pioneered a distinctive sound, and they’re not interested in switching things up, just to chase a trend, or popular appeal, or critical respect, or anything like that. The world would be a better place if more people knew how to rock like Airbourne. But they don’t. Sometimes I wonder if even Airbourne know they do it.