By Ollie Stygall
It is blatantly obvious for everyone to see that 2020 is a massive, diseased ball sack of a year. Covid 19 has crippled the world and, in Britain we live in abject confusion as to what we can and cannot do and are led by a government who live in abject confusion as to what they should and shouldn’t do. Live music has been brought to its knees with no knowing when it will recover, or if it ever recovers to the same level as it was before.
There is, however, a beacon of light and hope that all is not lost in 2020. AC/DC, a band whos future seemed bleak have a new album, ‘PWRUP’ due imminently and a single, ‘Shot In The Dark’ has just hit the airwaves. Salvation may yet be at hand.
Following the sad death of Malcolm Young in 2017 of dementia many of us assumed that AC/DC would be finished as a creative force as he was the driving force behind so many of the band’s riffs. Add to that Brian Johnson’s exploding ears, Cliff Williams quietly hanging up his bass and Phil Rudd generally being a naughty boy it looked as though rock was losing one of its most steadfast and incredible institutions. Turns out that was wrong and now, like the proverbial white nights upon a shining steed, messers Young, Rudd, Johnson, Williams and Young (Stevie) arrive in the nick of time to save the day.
‘Shot In The Dark’ is everything you want and, more importantly need from AC/DC. Malcolm Young’s influence looms large over the recording and, rumour has it that much of the new album was built around riffs and recordings he made in the years prior to his death, some going back as far as 2003.
This is prime AC/DC in every respect. Kicking off with a cheeky, bluesy riff from Angus Young it immediately kicks into a sexy, swinging mid paced stomp underpinned by Phil Rudd’s rock steady swing, Cliff Williams meat and potatoes bass playing and Stevie Young’s inch perfect Malcolm Young style rhythm playing. It’s all in the genes!
Brian Johnson belies his 73 years on the planet and his dodgy ears and sounds as fresh, vibrant and lascivious as he did on Back In Black 40 years ago.
Obviously the star here will always be Angus Young and he does everything you need him to do.
AC/DC aren’t here to do anything different, they’re here to rock and they’re still doing that. It’s exactly what we, the fans and listeners want.
To be honest, it’s just nice to hear new music from one of the last bands of that golden era. This is a real blessing as there really was a moment where AC\DC were to be no more.
There is no doubt that Malcolm would be proud.
Listen to ‘Shot In The Dark’ here: