Who would believed that there will be a fifteenth AC/DC album in 2014 on 19 February 1980? With a serious six year gap since the release of their previous album, “Black Ice”, and repeated rumors regarding their eminent retirement, nobody really expected one more AC/DC album. But damn, if Rolling Stones managed to celebrated their 50th anniversary in the summer of 2012, it would be a serious treason if the Australian rockers would not have their 40th anniversary with a world tour in 2015! Still in school-uniform outfit, Angus is 59 years old!!
At under 35 minutes, it is the shortest studio album ever released by the band, two minutes shorter than their previous shortest album, “Flick of the Switch”, which was released back in 1983. Looking at the song titles – Rock the Blues Away, Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder, Rock or Bust, Rock the House, Play Ball, Baptism by Fire – it is definitively a genuine AC/DC album: everything just stay the same as it ever was. And – obviously – that’s what most of their fans expect from them. I think bringing in someone like DJ Lethal – for instance – or any other creative fresh mind and not some fancy assh*le like Sonny John Moore (aka. Skrillex), would be a nice touch, but then again, experiments are always involve high level of risk and these guys and their hardcore audience are extremely conservative. Don’t worry guys, the album consist of only good-old Rock’N’Roll!!
The only change is Malcolm and Angus’ nephew Stevie Young replacing Malcolm Young who seems to be seriously ill and unable to perform. It’s his second featuring in the band, previously during the 1988 U.S. tour for AC/DC’s album “Blow Up Your Video”, Stevie filled in for Malcolm on rhythm guitar, while Malcolm left to deal with a growing alcohol dependency. The “youngster” of the band is age 58. Stevie made two albums in the 1980s with his rock band called Starfighters, band which was chosen as support for AC/DC’s Back in Black UK Tour in 1980. His most recent band it’s called Blue Murda and consist of ex-Starfighters partner Pat Hambly, Martin Wood, Stevie’s son Angus (Gus) and John Malan on bass guitar.
Steve was confirmed that he would replace Malcolm on a permanent basis in September 2014.
Due several “issues”, it is not yet clear whether Rudd will participate in the tour. Rudd had missed video and photo shoots, and with reference to Rudd’s future in the band, Young said, “So, at this stage, it’s a pretty tough call for us.” He also said the band would continue: “He’s got to sort himself out I think… At this point it’s kind of a question mark. But if we’re touring, there will be a drummer in place, put it that way.”
The group released their debut single, titled “Play Ball”, on 7 October 2014. The song reaching top 40 charts in several countries such as France (at #39) and Switzerland (at #19).
The second single is “Rock or Bust”, the official video for which was filmed in front of 500 fans in London on 4 October 2014. The single was released on 17 November 2014. The song leaked by accident when it was uploaded to the AC/DC YouTube account instead of “Play Ball”.
“Rock or Bust” against all the clichés and the “classic” lack of innovation, it’s a solid and throughout enjoyable rock album in the best AC/DC tradition. The title track really rocks and have the quality of ringing in your ears instantly. “Play Ball” it’s less sticky, but it’s have a great drive. “Rock the Blues Away” have a nice laid-back feel, it’s an excellent track for drive your car into the sun set! “Miss Adventure” it’s another classy flavored hard rocking track, have all the ingredients of any memorable AC/DC classic. Love the groove, love the riffs!
“Dogs of War” it’s banging in the manner of “Thunderstruck” – although it’s quite slower. “Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder” have a nice blues-rock flavor with the unmistakeable AC/DC touch. The main riff of “Hard Times” reminded me of ZZ Top – probably because it’s only Rock’N’Roll and we’re like it! Surprisingly, Brian Johnson sound fresher then back in 1980 – I’m quite curious if he can perform at this level also on the tour.
“Baptism by Fire” it’s a hard rocking hard rock ball. Really great AC/DC song! “Rock the House” start as “Black Dog” and have its powerful roots back straight to the essence of Led Zeppelin. This type of riffs are never get old! “Sweet Candy” it’s another “typical” AC/DC banger with a great groove and driven power. The closing “Emission Control” it’s eventually one of the best songs of the album, it’s hard and solid as a rock! Excellent ending for an already classic album!
This is not brain surgery, but AC/DC! Probably one of their best releases since 1980’s “Back in Black”. Pick up your air guitar and enjoy it!! Can’t get too old for this!
01. “Rock or Bust” 3:04
02. “Play Ball” 2:47
03. “Rock the Blues Away” 3:24
04. “Miss Adventure” 2:57
05. “Dogs of War” 3:35
06. “Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder” 3:22
07. “Hard Times” 2:44
08. “Baptism by Fire” 3:30
09. “Rock the House” 2:42
10. “Sweet Candy” 3:09
11. “Emission Control” 3:41
Angus Young – lead guitar (1973–present)
Phil Rudd – drums (1975–1983, 1994–present)
Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals (1977–present)
Brian Johnson – lead vocals (1980–present)
Stevie Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1988, 2014–)