Album Reviews

Jailbirds – The Great Escape Review

Released by: Golden Robot Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Rock



Line Up:

Axel McDonald
Ed Orr
Jamie Trimble
Jay McDonald



1. The Great Escape

2. Loose Cannon

3. Nothing Good Lasts Forever

4. Shadow of Love

5. Thrill of the Chase

6. Underdog

7. Fight or Flight

8. The Pilot


Something seems to inextricably link the people of Celtic origin and the land of Australia when it comes to heavy music. First, we had the Scottish born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young emigrate to Australia, eventually forming the rock and roll behemoth that is AC/DC and now we have two Australian brothers, Axel and Jay McDonald, who have flown in the opposite direction to Ireland forming Jailbirds with two young musicians, Ed Orr on guitar and Jamie Trimble on bass. To say that the latter band have been inspired by the former is an understatement, however, there is plenty to sink your teeth into on the Jailbirds first LP The Great Escape, just released through the Golden Robot Records label. This is a follow up to 2016’s 6-track EP Break the Silence, the strength of which led to support slots with The Answer, Canadian heavy metal legends Anvil and Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown. From the very first listen it is clear to see how much they have progressed as we reach this point.

Kicking off the album with the title track ‘The Great Escape’ it opens with a Celtic/folk acoustic feel before going full speed ahead with guitar work that Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson would be proud of. Next up is ‘Loose Cannon’ which has more than an anthemic feel to it and should in all honesty be the next single. The first taste of the album was ‘Nothing Good Lasts Forever’, with the music video having been released in early June, and it has some catchy riffs with a nod to 80’s Ozzy as well. Bringing us to the half way point is ‘Shadow of Love’, a slow rumbling blues train lamenting difficulty in a relationship.

‘Thrill of the Chase’ will undoubtedly have people singing at the top of their lungs at upcoming live shows while ‘Underdog’ is the down and dirty blues stomp that should be part of every good rock show. ‘Fight or Flight’ is the weakest of the bunch for me. It is a solid tune, just not enough compared to the rest, but closing out with ‘The Pilot’, three and a half minutes of balls to the wall rock, ends the album on a high.

There will be cynics who say this is just another blues rock album and that it’s all been done before by AC/DC, Airbourne and label mates Rose Tattoo. Well I say fuck that. There is plenty here to be encouraged by and this is exactly what you want from a rock record, big riffs that will make you bang your head and songs you can chug some beer to. It’s an album with just 8 songs which is a statement of intent in itself, no room for filler here. The album is out now and for those in Dublin get yourselves down to the Thomas House, Saturday July 27th, for the album release gig/party or for those attending Bloodstock Open Air in August Jailbirds play on the Sunday.


Written by: Brendan O’Mahony

Ratings: 9/10



Tell Us How You Feel