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AC/DC – Power Up

AC/DC - Power Up

4.2

Rating

4.2/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Classic AC/DC sound
  • They just do good songs

Flyctory.com Cons

  • Feels less powerful than previous works

When AC/DC updated their social media accounts with the Power Up album logo marketing, this felt like small hard rock sensation. Especially Malcom Young’s death in 2017 felt to make the chances for a comeback very low. The seventeenth studio album by the Australians has been released on 13th November 2020.

 

AC/DC – About The Artists

AC/DC’s roots are in Sydney, Australia. The band has been formed in 1973 by the Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Other founding members were Dave Evans, Colin Burgess. Another big name of the band history is definitely former lead singer, who joined the band in 1974 became a legend until 1980, when he died – officially due to alcohol poisoning. Already their second album, T.N.T. made it to the second spot in the Australian charts and received a nine time platinum record in their home country. The band’s popularity grew massively over the following years, so that albums like Highway to Hell (1979) were already global bestsellers. The most legendary album by AC/DC is likely Back in Black released one year later, which was twelve times platinum in Australia and even 25 times platinum in the USA. The album also contains the legendary Hells Bells, which has – fun fact – not even been a single of the album.

Although the hard rockers were of course stronger on the album side – long-players  like the 2008 Black Ice practically made it Number 1 in all major music markets – they also managed to regularly hit the Top 10 in singles in different markets here and there. Prominent examples for that are Thunderstruck (1990, e.g. #3 in the Netherlands and New Zealand) or Big Gun (1993, #5 in Canada and Switzerland). The 2020 lineup of the band is Angus Young, Steve Young, Phil Rudd, Cliff Williams and Brian Johnson.

 

AC/DC – Power Up – Track by Track

The twelve track album lasts 41 minutes.

1.Realize

The beginning of Realize strongly melodically reminds me of Thunderstruck – that’s of course makes me to love you the song from the very first second. AC/DC delivers what you expect from them – powerful hard rock with the unique sound of Angus Young on the microphone. Great starter!

2.Rejection

If you reject me, I’ll take what I want
Disrespect me, and you get burned
Best keep me satisfied, or you know I’ll eat you alive
If you reject me, I’ll take what I want

While the first track is a clear reference to reference to Thunderstruck, this track is simply AC/DC sound. This makes Rejection a somehow good song, as it is very characteristic – on the other hand, it is also having a touch of boring. The track does not really add surprising or catching elements – neither to the album nor to the band history.

3.Shot In The Dark

AC/DC chose Shot In The Dark as their “comeback” single (the last one, Rock the Blues Away, has already been published five years ago). The chorus is quite catchy and will make the crowds sing with the band in any future shows. Good.

4.Through The Mists Of Time

Through the mists of time
The mists of time
And the restless cries
Through the mists of time
On a mountain high
Through the mists of time

Is that what AC/DC is already calling a ballad? Indeed, the song is a bit softer produced. While many other songs just feel like “AC/DC as they always have been”, this is a really nice sound, a hidden gem in the album. Love it.

5. Kick You When You’re Down

Kick You When You’re Down is quite an illustrative track for the whole album: it is AC/DC sound, very characteristic. It is indeed a good one – but you just miss the the extra power. Like a race car in fuel-saving mode. Still fun and stylish, but you miss to be nailed to the seat when you put the pedal down.

6.Witch’s Spell

Caught in a witch’s spell
Got a tale to tell

Not overwhelming magical, but this broom ride, Australian style is definitely a lot of fun. Good song. The song is by the way the longest on the whole album – 3:42 minute feels like radio mainstream duration compared what other bands of the genre typically deliver on their recordings.

7.Demon Fire

The Demon Fire introduces the listener with a dark voice intro

He loves to drive ’em crazy
With his evil lips
Great guns are blazin’
What a deadly trip

It is some sort of blues hard rock, which overall creates a nice atmosphere. The lyrics are a bit of monotonous – which also makes them catchy.

8.Wild Reputation

The song title Wild Reputation sounds quite promising – the song is finally surprisingly tame. Glad that there are the backing vocals – otherwise, the song might be one for the fast forward button.

9.No Man’s Land

A touch of country music: the song is like a guitar player riding on horse through the lonely countryside… Just with the contrast to your imagination that the guitars are electric and that the poor horse has to carry some amps in addition to the rider as well. That picture just stays in my head, so that No Man’s Land is definitely on my positive list for the Power Up album.

10.Systems Down

We got a plan of action
Rising heat to the maximum
Who knows if this place implodes
Systems are going down
We got a chain reaction
Systems are burning out
And they all fall down

Maybe the vocals are more powerful than the song itself, but the melodic parts and the recurring backing vocals give Systems Down a nice touch, definitely.

11.Money Shot

Doctor, what’s the antidote?
Lady, try the money shot

For the vast majority of bands out there, these kind of lyrics in the chorus would lead to desperate listeners. But this is AC/DC and this medical advice is just three minutes of good hard rock entertainment.

12.Code Red

Code Red are finally the last dance, the get-out riffs after five years without AC/DC albums. You definitely finish Power Up with positive feelings – this song is one of the more characterful tracks of the album.

 

AC/DC – Power Up – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget to Power Up:

 

AC/DC – Power Up – My View

First of all: Power Up is an AC/DC, so it is a good one: the Aussies, even with a new band lineup, do not show any weakness in general and deliver a pretty good hard rock album. I just expected some extra, some development after all what happened to the band: AC/DC 2020 sounds like AC/DC in 2015 – and also quite much like in the years before. The track which makes me smile most is having a strong Thunderstruck element. In some parts, the album even feels a bit too plain and lacks the Young-style extra power. But, finally, it is AC/DC – and they rock!

 

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