Album Review :: Airbourne – Ready To Rock

Australia’s Hard Rock heirs to the throne’s often overlooked EP is a lost gem, tragically overlooked.


Ready to Rock by Airbourne © Airbourne

With their second full album now less than a week away from general release here in Europe, April 20th in the States, Airbourne are the latest and most recent rock success story form Australia. Where their first album Runnin Wild was a success story all across the globe, this up and coming piece No Guts, No Glory is set to sky rocket their popularity. However, for more discerning fans there is the EP Ready to Rock available for consideration and definitely worth listening to.

Hailing from Warrnambool in Australia, this four set outfit consist of Joel and Ryan O’Keeffe on lead vocals/guitar and drums respectively, rhythm guitarist David Roads and bassist Justin Streets, all young, fun loving guys who have a penchant for debauchery, hard drinking and all kinds of fornication. It is no surprise then that they have been described by many as being heavily influenced by AC/DC, their first album often unfairly antagonized and mocked as being too much of a tribute. However, with a massing fan base, there would appear to be a vast majority of listeners out there who would claim that to be a good thing, the other ozzy rockers now pushing on a bit.

Having achieved their popular status from their first album Runnin Wild it now often overlooked that it was their inaugural EP that brought them to the attention of Capitol Records. Released in 2004, Ready to Rock heralded a triumphant debut into the less than populated world of heavy rock. With traditional sounding “Three Chord” riffs, Airbourne hearken themselves back to a simpler, cruder time when rock music was in its infancy.

The eponymous opening track “Ready to Rock” coupled with “Stand and Deliver” are run of the mill hard rock songs, the brothers gelling well with the percussion and rhythm section, a solid foundational opening for the rest of the EP. Other excellent sounds come in the form of “Come on Down” a great little pub anthem and a must for any pre-night out warm up playlist. “Runnin’ Hot” and “Women on Top” which, as the popular advert used to say, does exactly as it says on the tin. The jewel in the sweaty, static and beer soaked crown comes in the form of “When the girl gets hot (The love don’t stop)”. Apart from having a frankly awesome classic rock title and subject matter, the opening, almost haunting guitar riff of Joel O’Keeffe leaves the listener wondering how this band had gone so long without being snapped up by a major record label. Couple that with the frankly brilliant production behind both the song and the rest of the album, the boys do an excellent job of getting the right mix of sleazy, grimy sounding Gibson SG with thunderous drums and a thumping bass line.

In all, although perhaps more of a tribute to AC/DC and other classic rock bands that made the mid seventies to early nineties so memorable for this music than their first official release, Ready to Rock is never the less a wonderful introduction to the Australian outfit. Not as widely available as it perhaps should be, the songs on the EP are slowly and surely being bled into the western market via exclusive downloads and bonus tracks on re-releases of the Runnin Wild album. The upcoming album, released March 8TH, and subsequent tour are set to send Airbourne into the upper echelons of hard rock stardom and with a lot of life and fight left in this band, let us hope that they are ready to accept the responsibility of being hard rock’s royal dynasty for the next four decades.

N.B Look out for the review of No Guts, No Glory coming soon.

Jonathan Whitelaw

Check out the band’s official website at:

2 Responses to “Album Review :: Airbourne – Ready To Rock”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Available only if you download it illegally. This EP is out of print, and has been for years. It sells for big bucks on eBay.

  2. Steve Blake says:

    Cracking review which sums up ‘Ready To Rock’ so very well. Since hearing the album “Runnin’ Wild” at the end of 2008 I have been completely hooked and Airbourne are now my all time favourite band. Not bad when you consider I was around when all the good bands were making their name in the Seventies.

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