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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: AC/DC - Rock Or Bust

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 11:20 PM

AC/DC – Rock Or Bust

Written by Dave Smiles


AC/DC and Rock N Roll have gone hand in hand for over forty years. While little has changed in terms of their sound and song writing the band itself has undergone many changes and challenges. The most recent being founding rhythm guitarist Malcom Young’s struggles with dementia forcing him out of the band, and the on-going legal problems surrounding drummer Phil Rudd. Some might have predicted the end of the purveyors of Bogan anthems like TNT, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Thunderstruck, but with true working class mentality it is not how many times you get knocked down, but rather how many times you get back up that show what you’re really made of.

The first two singles from the album, Rock Or Bust and Play Ball may not be Are You Ready? or You Shook Me All Night Long, but they’re still unmistakably AC/DC with Brian Johnson’s lyrics about rock n roll and Angus Young’s solid blues based soloing. Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd maintain a steady rhythm throughout and new comer Stevie Young keeps the steady riffing alive in what must have been a difficult situation for him.

The songs Rock The Blues Away and Hard Times might just be hinting at the turmoil the band has been through, but still maintain that upbeat party vibe AC/DC have always had. Miss Adventure has future live classic written all over it with its ‘ready for audience participation’ back-up vocals in the same light as TNT and Thunderstruck.

Now have I covered everything that’s expected of an AC/DC album? Or have I missed something? Ah yes, the double entendre. Sweet Candy and Emission Control are this collections’ innuendo filled tracks and are just as likely to bring a smile as Big Balls and Hard As A Rock do.

There is an average running time of three minutes per song, which brings the total running time to just over 35 minutes. The shortest AC/DC album ever. It shows the band felt no need to bloat the album out with fillers which is a welcomed change in comparison to the over long Black Ice.

As long as there are working class people struggling with the daily grind of work, traffic and bills there is always going to be a need for rock n roll. It is not just for the young or the old. It is for anyone with a need to escape their troubles and have some fun.

At this point in AC/DC’s career they could have tried to force things by trying to match neck breaking tempos of Let There Be Rock or Rock Your Little Heart Out, but instead they have crafted some steadily paced party rock songs fitting for men in their sixties. There is still life in these old road dogs.

Categories: Album Reviews

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