Black Dog Barking
Label: Roadrunner Records
Black Dog Barking opens with a genuine Blues Hammer moment when rabid-dog singer Joel O'Keeffe invokes mighty Robert Johnson. "Went down to the crossroads," he barks and howls, "made a deal with the devil." In an age of pervasive irony, it's tempting to say Airbourne is simply having a Darkness-like goof; then again, they could be dead serious. After all, these sonic Neanderthals are intensely devoted to meat-and-potatoes hard rock. Like fellow Aussies Buffalo, Rose Tattoo and, of course, AC/DC, they're all about chugging riffs and Bo Diddley grooves regulated like robots on an assembly line.