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AC/DC - 'Rock Or Bust' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d7/49/b5/acdc-rock-or-bust-28-1430253803.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 28, 2015    
 
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This is not a classic by any stretch and suffice to say it's almost certainly their last ever album.

Everyone knows the story about Malcolm Young so no need to elaborate here, although it is worth pointing out that all the songs were accumulated by Angus Young from song-writing sessions left over by the Young brothers from previous albums; so not exactly re-inventing the wheel here, but Malcom does get credit.

As I write this, it has become a Number One album in eleven different countries and Top Five in a further twelve, and with total sales over 1.4 million as we speak, it kind of pooh-poohs Gene Simmons' notion that Rock is dead.

Malcolm and Angus' nephew Stevie Young has replaced Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar – the only change in personnel since Phil Rudd replaced Chris Slade after 1990's 'The Razors Edge' and subsequent two-year tour, although Rudd has done a good job of trying to get himself kicked out subsequently. So what do we have here from the shortest released album in AC/DC's history at just under thirty-five minutes, beating the previous record held by 'Flick Of The Switch'?

'Play Ball' has been released as the first single and it's simple Riff and Roll with a melodic chorus that has typical AC/DC DNA. Second single and titular 'Rock Or Bust' is actually the lead-off track starting with a staccato riff that pricks up the ears, but again is typical AC/DC fare. As is the boogie of 'Hard Times', the tongue-in-cheek dirty riffs of 'Rock The House' and the rhythmic 'Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder' complete with gang vocals on the chorus.

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However, AC/DC haven't really done a song like 'Rock The Blues Away' since the days of Bon Scott and I wonder if it was a really old song kicking around that's been updated somewhat, certainly the strong Bluesy feel and lyrics about drinking are reminiscent of their 1970s era. 'Dogs Of War' is also slightly more interesting with a stealth-like intro and riding along on a steady incessant beat with a strong melodic rhythm from Stevie Young who absolutely holds true to Malcolm Young's legacy. And it's nice to hear AC/DC rev it up a little with the up-tempo Hard Rock of 'Baptism By Fire' complete with Angus Young's catchy guitar refrain.

Brian Johnson still has that unmistakable Northern rasp but with less fire these days, understandable for a man who qualifies for his bus pass, but AC/DC hardly get out of second gear and considering the classic and harder 'Black Ice' was released six years ago, this smacks of tying up loose ends or Angus Young not wanting to release anything not involving his brother. This is not a classic by any stretch and suffice to say it's almost certainly their last ever album.

Carl Buxton

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