Friday 13 November 2020

Album Review: AC/DC - Power Up


01. Realize
02. Rejection
03. Shot In The Dark
04. Through The Mists Of Time
05. Kick You When You’re Down
06. Witch's Spell
07. Demon Fire
08. Wild Reputation
09. No Man’s Land
10. Systems Down
11. Money Shot
12. Code Red


It would lazy to review an AC/DC album by saying it's an AC/DC album like all the others. It would also be accurate. You always know what you're going to get and it never fails to hit the spot. Having said that, despite being stylistically the same, some AC/DC albums stand out from the pack. My personal favourites are Highway To Hell, Back In Black, and The Razors Edge, but, in fairness, there aren't any AC/DC albums I don't like. 

Power Up was the album no-one thought we'd see. Over the last few years, Malcolm Young died, Brian Johnson left the band due to hearing problems (to be temporarily replaced by Axl Rose), Cliff Williams retired, and Phil Rudd was arrested for allegedly hiring an assassin. 

When Rock Or Bust came out, many of us thought that it was the band's studio swansong, and the following turmoil was widely considered to be the end of this legendary band. It was known that Angus wanted to continue, but we, the fans, wanted the familiar faces back. Apparently, they rebuilt their bonds at Malcolm's funeral and decided to make another record together, with Malcolm's nephew, Stevie Young (who had been standing in for Malcolm for quite some time) handling rhythm guitar duties.

What also makes Power Up special is that it's born from riffs and ideas Malcolm and Angus had that never saw the light of day. They've been developed and polished into this new record, which not only makes for a wonderful tribute to Malcolm Young, but a quality slab of much needed Rock n' Roll to make 2020 less miserable, thanks to Coronavirus.

After several listens, I am pleased to confirm that Power Up is a banger, and their best album since Ballbreaker. There are no 'meh' tracks here, and is great to listen to from start-to-finish. My favourites would have to be Realize, which is AC/DC at their best, the irresistible Witch's Spell, and the swagger-soaked' Kick You When You're Down

I also love the reflective Through The Mists Of Time, which is a feel-good track but has a subtle air of sadness about it. With Malcolm gone, and the end of the band in the next few years inevitable, it can be interpreted as an 'end-of the road' song. Fear not, the pensioners soon lift our spirits with some vulgar silliness like the amazing Money Shot, and plenty of classic Rock n' Roll, like the first single, Shot In The Dark.

It's always important to remember that we're all getting older, none of us live forever, and we simply can't take bands like AC/DC for granted. Make no mistake, Power Up is a gift, and a fucking wonderful one too. Let's hope this isn't the last one, but if it is, what a finale!


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