Airbourne is the walking, talking, living, breathing, screaming, spitting, fist-pumping embodiment of all that hard rock has encompassed since the movement began. Fun-loving, rip-roaring, hard-partying and filled with melodic danger and grinning optimism, Airbourne craft underdog-championing anthems with reckless abandon.
Airbourne manage to call upon the spiritual substance of Thin Lizzy, the gritty pub-crawling vibe of Motörhead, the grandiose histrionic theatricality of Judas Priest, the unifying audience domination of Iron Maiden and the sharp bite of their fellow Australians in the legendary AC/DC. They’ve stitched together these disparate components into a head-banging Frankenstein monster of their own creation, energizing the entire hard rock scene with their enthusiasm and relentless drive.
Black Dog Barking, the band’s triumphant new album, is a furious declaration of all that it means to feel truly alive in service to the great spirit of rock n’ roll music. Airbourne’s third record is nothing less than the sum total of all that Airbourne has aspired to since the band formed in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia 10 years ago.
The scrappy upstarts announced their arrival with Runnin’ Wild, one of the most talked-about and best-reviewed debuts in recent hard rock history. Metal Hammer handed them a Golden Gods Award for Best Debut Album and Classic Rock rightly christened them Best New Band. “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast” became ubiquitous in high school parking lots and PA systems anywhere hard rock music was enjoyed and appreciated. After several jaunts around the globe and encounters with the international press, Airbourne further marked their territory with the jaw-dropping No Guts. No Glory. cracking the Top 40 in the UK, the Top 20 in Australia and Billboard’s Top 200, with “No Way But the Hard Way” leading the charge.
Joel discussed their unique method in approach to writing the songs for this album,
“We would record a bit of the song at rehearsal and then Ryan and I would just drive around in a car. We’d be digging through lyrics and shouting out ideas,” Joel explains of the process that resulted in the future Airbourne classics found on Black Dog Barking such as the blistering first single “Live It Up,” “Animalize Me” and the appropriately-titled album opener “Ready To Rock.” “Sometimes while working on an aggressive song it would help fuel the road rage. We’d be working on an idea with aggressive lyrics and somebody would pull in front of us really slowly and we would almost ram their car off the road, all pumped up!”
As the writing process went on, the guys would survey the material and take stock of what they had on their hands and what they felt they were missing – making sure the entire affair encompassed the melody, the hard rock and the aggression Airbourne is all about in appropriate proportions. “Hungry” is an autobiographical banger detailing their own story – the story of many bands – about paying their dues. It’s probably the heaviest song they’ve ever done, too.