Despite 2020 being a disaster year, it’s been saved by the return of AC/DC with their 17th album “Power Up”. On announcement, people seemed to jump on the excitement trail as the anticipation built for a band whose legacy has withstood the test of time. It’s been an interesting few years for the veteran rockers who have seen the loss of Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson battling hearing issues and Phil Rudd dealing with legal stuff. But somehow the band came back together to release this album which just might be the saviour they, along with us fans are needing.
We don’t need to get into much detail on AC/DC, everyone knows the story and you would be hard pressed to find many who can’t appreciate the band for what they do. We’ll start with the first two singles they released, “Shot In The Dark” and “Realize“, the latter only released this past week. While the latest single has a bit of that vintage sound with that familiar vocal backing track, it’s the first single “Shot In The Dark” that really takes the cake and an impressive introduction to the album. Being one of the strongest tracks on the album, it may very well be another staple in a long line of the band’s laundry list of regular hits.
Moving on to the unheard stuff, “Rejection” has that trademark swing and groove with a catchy hook, a perfect compliment to the opening number. “Through The Mists Of Time” has a real Aussie flavor that could be compared to some classic Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel work. “Kick You When You’re Down” has a dancey party vibe with a bit of southern rock thrown in, “Witch’s Spell” features some nice bass lines from Cliff Williams who came out of retirement to record this album, with Angus Young hitting those notes that ring with that all knowing familiarity.
The highlight though has to be “Demon Fire“, a fast paced groove rocker with a hook that will keep you coming back for more. Fans of the Ballbreaker album will get right into this one!
The second half of the album is probably not quite as strong as the first half which is in typical fashion for most records but there’s plenty here to still sink your teeth into. “Wild Reputation” sees Brian Johnson step up on the vocals delivering a powerful performance, “No Man’s Land” is another winner with Angus hitting the right chords, “Systems Down” is anthemic in nature and a possible live hit, “Money Shot” is middle of the road classic Accadacca and the closing track “Code Red” is another solid winner and a great way to end the album.
“Power Up” is obviously not going to bust down any huge doors in the rock world, we’ve seen this band do this time and time again but this is definitely some of the strongest work that AC/DC have written in quite some time, going back to the Ballbreaker days as far as sheer delivery and performance. It’s a shame we probably won’t get to hear this live for some time but when things finally do open up, it’s a must to go see the legendary rockers who appear to be back doing what they do best and firing on all cylinders.
Shot In The Dark
Through The Mists Of Time
Kick You When You’re Down
No Man’s Land