Jailbirds - 'The Great Escape'

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Jailbirds - 'The Great Escape'

Another superb shot in the arm for the New Wave Of Classic Rock.

Southern Ireland is not exactly awash with Rock bands that have the armoury to launch a proper assault at international stardom, but in the past couple of years two groups have emerged locked and loaded with big-time credentials. In 2017, Dublin Blues Rockers Samarkind came racing out of the traps with their gilt-edged first release and it was the finest debut I've heard in thirty-odd years. The temperature has now gone up a notch further with the emergence of rambunctious hellraisers Jailbirds.

Every time I've witnessed these guys live they've been an out-and-out revelation, in particular giving Y&T and Anvil a run for their money. Dublin-based lead vocalist/guitarist Axel McDonald and his drumming brother Jay hail from Sydney, Australia, and that may just explain the band's ethos which seems to flow straight out of the veins of AC/DC and Airbourne. Just like those groups, they know exactly how to crack open an album in barbaric style. The introductory acoustic chords to 'The Great Escape' might temporarily have you scratching your head, but it soon kicks in your door with an all-action belter that will knock years off you.

That rollicking quality rears its head on just about every track on the release. The smoking 'Loose Cannon' fires multiple blasts of arena-size barroom Rock that are detonated with brute force. In comparison, 'Nothing Good Lasts Forever' is a more polite offering, but it will still have you licking your lips with its glutinous melodic bite. 'Shadow Of Love' can only be described as a masterclass in Blues Rock epicness with Axel McDonald letting us know exactly why he was put on God's green earth.

There are thousands of bands pushing the same type of product as Jailbirds, but instantly digestible songs like the broad sounding 'Thrill Of The Chase' or the dark menace of 'Underdog' put these "Emerald Aussies" streets ahead of the chasing pack.

As a born and bred Dubliner I can be justly accused of bias, but Jailbirds are the real thing; they're as pure and honest as you can get. This group have got it all – the riffs, the melodies and the attitude, plus you won't find them cracking cheap cans of lager off their foreheads either.

'The Great Escape' is another superb shot in the arm for the New Wave Of Classic Rock.

Brian Boyle

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