24 September 2008


The return of AC/DC

Holy crap. The recording for AC/DC's new song, "Rock 'n' Roll Train," and the accompanying video, could have been made anytime in the past 30 years. That's what's so awesome about it:

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.

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Incidentally, Tom Whitwell points out that the days of jillionaire rock stars like AC/DC are over. And should be.
Now you got me hooked to this tune too!
"As a musician, I'd be happy if I could create just one brainless rocking genius song like it, ever."

And rich. Verry, verry rich.
I did and saw some VERY cool things in my past life as a studio denizen. Not much tops standing in the same room with AC/DC as they fired up and let 'er rip, though. I couldn't hear properly for days...
Nickelback = AC/DC?

Same song, same video, same formula.
Yeah, but somehow AC/DC manages to avoid sucking.
I heard this on the radio this morning. Half asleep I understood "runaway train" and thought that other band with a song called "Runaway Train" had nicked their title, because admit it, this sounds like my childhood years with Adam Curry and Countdown.
Hopefully AC/DC will include Australia on their world tour. I am so there!
"Dirty deeds done dirt cheap" is one of my favourite AC/DC songs. "Let there be rock" also is up there for me. I regret that I am unable to attend the performance in Vancouver because I am a dog.:-)
Over at Inside Home Recording, I wrote a more technical description of why I like this new AC/DC song particularly much, from the perspective of sounds, arrangement, mixing and mastering, production, and performance.

Differences in those elements explain why I don't have the same positive reaction to our hometown boys Nickelback.
Can't wait for the album. After watching the video, I just realized how much Brian sounds like Bon Scott. Never noticed it before - especially in Highway to Hell.
Here's a link to a montage of all the new AC/DC songs. I put this together a couple days ago...enjoy!