Stop the presses and forget about Phil Rudd‘s recent headlines, because AC/DC 16th album Rock or Bust has finally arrived. This is the band’s first release without founder/rhythm guitarist, Malcolm Young, who retired from the band for medical reasons.
Following the success of 2008’s Black Ice, and despite all the issues the band has faced recently, involving drummer Phil Rudd‘s struggles with the law and Malcolm‘s shocking news about his mental health, Rock or Bust hit Australia with two singles already playing on radio. Both have been well-received by fans, who reminded us every day why AC/DC is a national treasure. Support for the legendary rockers, and to Malcolm Young‘s nephew, Stevie Young, who stepped in to cover for his uncle, has been overwhelming.
Musically speaking, Rock or Bust has a slightly different style from Black Ice, as this time, the blues influence feels stronger than ever. The iconic rock-solid rhythms are still there, that only true legends such as guitarist Angus Young and lead Brian Johnson can pull together, alongside bassist Cliff Williams, who even goes funky at some stages. Meanwhile, Stevie Young pays tribute to Malcolm with solid guitar riffs, and drummer Phil Rudd just like he did back in the old days.
Four songs feature the word “rock” in their titles: Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder, Rock the House, Rock the Blues Away and the album’s title track, Rock or Bust, something that seems to be a new trend for the band since Black Ice.
Overall, Rock or Bust is a major triumph for a band that, despite years and the external issues surrounding this album, still have that magic touch that makes them the jewel in Australia’s crown. AC/DC have delivered a “feel good” rock album, that can be perfectly performed, whether in a huge arena, or in a small house of blues-type of venue and still guarantee another memorable, sold-out event.
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Rock or Bust is now available in Australia