(8/10) To be honest, I haven't thought that we will ever get a new album from the Australian hardrock legend. Especially after the news was out that founding member Malcolm Young had to stop with AC/DC due to dementia I had the idea that this was it. Maybe another tour, maybe a few other shows, but a new album?
But things went differently, Malcolm was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young and with "Rock or bust" the band worked on their 15th studio record. In a few days the album will see the light of day and it will contain eleven new hardrock anthems.
I guess that all of you have a clear expectation when it comes to the sound of the new album. And I can tell you already that those most probabaly will be met. No doubt, AC/DC have their sound since 1973 and stick to it till today. All the bands trademarks are present on "Rock or bust". There are the crispy guitar riffs from Angus Young, that howling vocals from Brian Johnson and a powering rhythm section that makes your head banging.
The album starts with a double package that includes the two best tracks on the album. "Rock or bust" deserves the privilege to be the eponym for the album. The tune comes with an awesome rock hook that sticks from the very first note on. Great stuff and a typical AC/DC riff rocker. The song has a huge live potential.
Also the first single is worth mentioning. With not even three minutes the track isn't too long, but it transports a lot of energy. It's not a surprise that "Play ball" was revealed during the World Series 2014 and I can imagine hearing the song much more often in the coming baseball season all over the world.
A song I like as well is the slower "Dogs of war". It has a darker vibe and grooves like hell, esp. in the chorus. The bluesy side of AC/DC gets more obvious with the brilliant "Hard times" and also in "Rock the house". You just can't stand still by listening to those tracks.
Another tune with a huge drive is called "Baptism by fire". It's one of the faster tracks on "Rock or bust" and is pounding AC/DC anthem.
Two songs which I think can't keep the high level of the other ones is "Miss adventure" and "Emission control". At least I had some trouble to find my way into the songs.
Something that sticks out is the quite short running time. The longest track is 3:41 minutes and there are quite some with less than three minutes. According to Angus this was done by purpose to keep the songs as tight as possible in order to maximise the excitement. And I must say that it worked.
The sound of the album is perfect - as we're used to from the Australian rock dinosaurs. It was Bredan O'Brien, who produced "Rock or bust". O'Brien was also responsible for the production of the last album "Black ice" and did again a great job in giving AC/DC the warm and organic rock sound they need.
"Rock or bust" is another good album from a band that belongs to the icons in rock. AC/DC stick to their sound during the last 40 years and also the new release reflects all their trademarks. "Rock or bust" is a very entertaining record with great and distinctive rock songs that 'shake you all night long'. A proof that rock'n'roll isn't a matter of age.
- Rock or bust
- Play ball
- Rock the blues away
- Miss adventure
- Dogs of wat
- Got some rock & roll thunder
- Hardr times
- Baptism by fire
- Rock the house
- Sweet candy
- Emission control
Label: Sony Music