When AC/DC are on, as they appear to be on this new single, it seems they can still take any other rock band you can name and kick its ass around the block. Angus and Malcolm Young have once more constructed guitar riffs massive enough to be hewn from a cliffside. The rhythm resurrects the band's trademark fist-pumping stomp, and the chorus is a gang-vocal sing-along in the great AC/DC tradition. The lyrics are essentially meaningless, as they should be.
Most remarkably, singer Brian Johnson has somehow lost the Donald Duck shriek he developed about 20 years ago, and he's singing better than ever, gritty and soulful and muscular. All in all, it sounds like 1980 all over again. Gloriously. As The Guardian puts it, "Not clever but, oh lordy, it's big." How the hell did this bunch of old dudes do that?
I've already listened to "Rock 'n' Roll Train" half a dozen times since I discovered it tonight. As a musician, I'd be happy if I could create just one brainless rocking genius song like it, ever. The album it comes from is called Black Ice, and will be out in a few weeks.