25 September 2023

The Great Escape

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Jailbirds, Golden Robot Records 2019.

Jailbirds is a hybrid Australian/Irish hard rock band that began life when two Sydney brothers, Axel and Jay McDonald, decided to relocate to Dublin in 2016 where they eventually teamed up with a couple of locals, guitarist Ed Orr and bassist Jamie Trimble.

The band’s first EP release, Break The Silence (2017), instantly received air play in Australia, Germany, and the UK and was rewarded with a favourable review in the highly esteemed Classic Rock Magazine.

The Great Escape is their debut album and it has immediately grabbed the attention of the music press with GBHBL claiming:

“What they do is deliver a body-shaking, hip-grooving and foot-tapping set of rock tracks. You’d have to have a stone-cold heart not to enjoy the peppiness of Loose Cannon, The wicked guitar work of Nothing Good Lasts Forever, the sleazy, sexy rhythm of Shadow Of Love or the hyper groove of The Pilot.”

What the Jailbirds do is produce good old-fashion Aussie pub rock, following in the footsteps of AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels etc., mixed with a little bit of Irish cheekiness via the likes of Thin Lizzy, and they do it very well.

Lead guitarist and singer Axel McDonald has a great rock voice and on occasions he sounds remarkably like Angry Anderson, especially on the track Shadow Of Love.

In fact it’d make a good audio trivia question. Who’s singing this?

There’s a good video clip out for the lead single Nothing Good Lasts Forever, look it up on YouTube.

The Jailbirds have been hitting the touring circuit hard, supporting a bunch of big-name acts throughout the UK and Europe and they have also been criss-crossing Ireland with their own headline shows.

Another great album in the on-going rock revival.

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