Some bands have it dialed in. They release an indie EP, relocate to a larger city, sign a major label deal and open for the likes of the Rolling Stones and Motley Crue. Airbourne, who formed in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, did all that.
Their eight-song EP "Ready To Rock" landed in '97 and eight years later they moved to Melbourne. However, Airbourne hit a rough spot when Capitol Records, who had signed Airbourne in '05, dropped the group two years later. Seems there are always ways out of "five record deals" when you're a label. Even so, Airbourne's '08 album "Runnin' Wild" containing the title track, "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" and "Diamond In The Rough" was released in Australia on Capitol's parent label EMI.
Roadrunner Records handled the rest of the world. Maybe Capitol figured Airbourne was just an Australian thing. But their "Stand Up For Rock 'n' Roll," from "Runnin' Wild," was the theme song for World Wrestling Entertainment's 21st annual Royal Rumble 2008. Their music was also featured in Madden '08, NHL '08, Grand Theft Auto IV and NASCAR '08 video games.
Work on the group's sophomore effort began in early '09 at the Criterion Hotel, the pub were Airbourne played their first hometown gigs. "We're getting all our gear plugged in and getting set for Aussie pub Rock written in an Aussie Rock pub!," stated Joel O'Keeffe.
Having survived the Dead of Winter Tour with Motley Crue and the Joe Perry Project, Airbourne released "No Guts. No Glory." The '10 album reached #19 on the Australia's ARIA Albums Chart and peaked at #93 on the US Billboard 200. The set's best performance was on the Top Hard Rock Albums Chart where it went to #10.
Three years later, "Black Dog Barking," Airbourne's third full-length effort, was released on the Roadrunner imprint.
Another three years passed before the arrival of "Breakin' Outta Hell" "It's for everybody that's having a hard time," O'Keeffe said of the '16 album.
The WWE connection continued when they selected the album's title track as an official theme song for their "Hell In A Cell" event, which aired globally.
But within days of the album's release, O'Keeffe injured his leg in Kamloops, B.C. when he fell off the stage during the encore song "Running Wild." He completed the show seated.
The following year, Airbourne parted ways with guitarist David Roads and replaced him with Harri Harrison. "(He) has decided to leave the band to work in his family business," read a band statement.
2007 Runnin' Wild
2010 No Guts. No Glory
2013 Black Dog Barking
2016 Breakin' Outta Hell
About 30 years earlier another Aussie band, AC/DC, made their debut. While Airbourne lacks AC/DC's inherent maliciousness, the group is mining the motherlode. "Runnin' Wild" and "No Guts. No Glory." have power chords, hot riffs, propulsive rhythms and snarling vocals. And no B.S.
It begs the question: Does the world really need a younger AC/DC?
The answer, categorically, is 'Yes'!
Airbourne has the pub Rock swagger down cold.