On Nov. 13, the legendary Australian hard rock band AC/DC released their highly anticipated new album “Power Up.” The new LP is the band’s 17th studio album, and their first since “Rock or Bust” was released in 2014.
The release welcomes back classic members like singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams into the fold after all three members left the band during the “Rock or Bust” tour for various reasons. Following the tour, which ended in late 2016, many fans were left wondering if the band would ever return and, if they did, in what capacity? The band was falling apart and suspicion arose if this was indeed the end. These questions were answered when rumors began to swirl about a possible forthcoming album.
The album was recorded in Vancouver in late 2018, with the finishing touches being put on in early 2019. The effort was expected to be released early this year but was delayed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The album contains twelve new songs, including the hit singles “Shot in the Dark” and “Realize.” The band has never been one to shake things up with their music and this remains true with “Power Up.” The songs stay consistent with the style that AC/DC fans have come to know and love: blues-based rock and roll.
The highlights of this album in my opinion are “Demon Fire,” “Shot in the Dark,” and “Through the Mists of Time.” Each of these songs contains powerful hooks and leads that reel you in from the get-go. Some of the songs on this album could very well have been placed on some of their classic albums, such as “Back in Black” and “The Razor’s Edge” and fit right in.
Lead guitarist Angus Young is the backbone to the band and his signature riffs and famous schoolboy outfit makes him one of the most iconic and recognizable names in the music industry. Angus and his brother Malcolm Young crafted this iconic band’s image and style in the early ‘70s, and the band has never looked back, becoming one of the most successful bands of all time.
Powerful, catchy hooks and a strong rhythm section is a big part of what has made AC/DC successful for over forty years. The band has endured multiple lineup changes over the years with the deaths of lead singer Bon Scott and founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, but they have never changed their style and their sound. There are many critics of their approach who say that the band has been recording the same songs for many years. But true die-hard fans know that their sound is timeless and is what makes them unique.
Overall, this album fits very well in the band’s discography and compares to the likes of their most classic releases. Even some of the weaker tracks such as “Wild Reputation” and “No Man’s Land” are enjoyable and deserve airtime and recognition. In my opinion, “Power Up” is a welcoming return to form and the band’s finest release since “The Razor’s Edge.” Welcome back, AC/DC!
Erick Klambara is a second-year student majoring in media and cultures. EK924666@wcupa.edu