Review: AC/DC “Power Up” [Columbia Records, Sony Music Australia]

Review: AC/DC “Power Up” [Columbia Records, Sony Music Australia]

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The past few years have been some of the most testing times for the legendary AC/DC with the extremely sad loss of the bands iconic rhythm guitarist and founding member Malcolm Johnson and that coupled with the departure of long time vocalist Brian Johnson with hearing problems looked like the end had come for one of rocks greatest ever bands.

For a while, the odds were certainly stacked up against the band but as they have done so many times in the past, the band have turned tragedy into triumph and they return with Power Up, a barnstorming return and with all the uncertainty going on at the moment, the world needs the familiarity of an AC/DC album with their classic sound and with that, they truly are back in black.
With the aid of improved hearing technology, Johnson is thankfully back on vocals for Power Up and as soon as the familiar sound of his distinctive roar kicks in on Power Ups opening track Realize, you feel a sense of relief that he is back and it just feels right. Add to this, the return of drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams and you have as close to the quintessential AC/DC lineup as there has been for a while.

From the Hells Bells feel of Realize to the bluesy Shot In The Dark and the anthemic Through The Mists Of Time via the grooving rock of Demon Fire and Wild Reputation and the low slung sleaze of No Mans Land, this is everything that you would expect and want in an AC/DC album and it sounds great with everything in place from Johnson’s vocals to Angus Young’s trademark guitar riffs and solos and the rest of the band forming a reliable musical backbone to create the best music AC/DC have done in years and as closing track Code Red commences, it strikes you that the whole album does Malcolm Young proud and it feels great to hear AC/DC this powered up again.

Power Up truly is the sound of AC/DC honouring their late guitarists memory as he is still a huge part of the band and always will be and they do so, the only way they know how, with a high octane blast of good time rock delivered with passion and grit, and with this collection of strong songs, it’s great to have AC/DC back doing what they do best.

Release date: November 13, 2020

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