On Friday, October 25th, Aussie rockers Airbourne will drop their fifth studio album, Boneshaker, via Spinefarm Records. A no-prisoners-taken jolt of pure retro-leaning rock & roll fury, the record hails the hard-partying riff warriors’ swaggering heroes — you know, bands like Motörhead, Aerosmith and, of course, their countrymen AC/DC. To get a better picture of Airbourne’s musicial influences, we caught up with guitarist Matthew “Harri” Harrison ahead of Boneshaker’s release to find out what are his current favorite albums. Check out his picks below, and stream Airbourne on Spotify.
Motörhead – Another Perfect Day
Some might think this is an odd choice given that Another Perfect Day is kinda the black sheep in the Motörhead discography, but I think even Lemmy came back around to this album a couple of decades after it was released. Brian Robertson (ex-Thin Lizzy) took over guitar duties for this one album and there is definitely more melodic lead guitar work here than on almost anything else that Motörhead did, but that’s not a bad thing! “Back at The Funny Farm” is an awesome album opener and “I Got Mine” is also massively underrated.
Aerosmith – Rocks
This is the Aerosmith album in my book. Toys in the Attic — released the previous year — is great, but Rocks is rawer, dirtier and tougher. “Back in the Saddle” is a mega album opener and really sets the tone for 35-odd minutes worth of bluesy and boozy rock & roll … “Rats in the Cellar” is a barnburner and “Last Child” shows that Brad Whitford probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a guitarist.
AC/DC – If You Want Blood You’ve Got It
I’ve always loved live albums and this is one of the absolute best! The track list is just pure off-its-face insanity and is basically a Bon Scott-era greatest hits collection. The band are at the top of their game, the guitar tones are shit-hot and this really just captures the boogie and character of early AC/DC … Can you actually imagine seeing AC/DC open with “Riff Raff”? There’s obviously a lot of versions around of songs like “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Let There Be Rock,” but the ones on this record are my favorites.
The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion
This is a slightly different pace to the other albums on this list, but it’s a genuinely classic rock & roll album. The band were coming straight off the back of playing 350 shows in 18 months, apparently, and I read they recorded this live in-the-studio in only eight days. That’s some solid work! If you like the Stones, check out “Hotel Illness,” and if you like Zeppelin, check out “No Speak No Slave” or “My Morning Song.”
The Cult – Electric
Rick Rubin famously produced this record and played a big role in helping the Cult strip things back for a punchier “hard rock” sound. “Love Removal Machine” is great and features one of my favorite “gear changes” of any song, ever. And “Wild Flower” is as simple as it gets, but I couldn’t tell you how many late nights I’ve had singing along to that in bars over the years … It’s a classic top-to-bottom rock & roll party record!