AC/DC Power Up album REVIEW: Malcolm Young tribute record will leave fans thunderstruck
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AC/DC have been through quite a lot since they released their last album in 2014’s Rock or Bust. During their world tour to promote the record, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young was forced to retired due to dementia while singer Brian Johnson had to step down with hearing problems. To make matters worse, drummer Phil Rudd couldn’t tour due to legal issues and by the last concert in 2016 bassist Cliff Williams had announced his retirement.
Compared to a tribute band with only lead guitarist Angus Young left standing of the classic line-up, it looked like AC/DC’s days were truly numbered.
Certainly, Malcolm’s death in 2017 seemed to crush any last hopes of any more from the band.
But it was the loss of AC/DC’s co-founder that became the catalyst for a reunion and now a brand new studio album in his memory.
After months of rumours, the tenacious group announced Power Up, AC/DC’s seventeenth studio album and powerful tribute to the late Malcolm Young.
The new album was partly based on unused material written by the late rhythm guitarist around the time of 2008 record Black Ice.
And we can safely say that AC/DC are far from done as the classic line-up in Angus, Brian, Phil, Cliff and Stevie Young (playing in Malcolm’s place) prove.
Power Up blasts off with opening track Realize, reminding AC/DC fans of what they’ve missed, with lyrics preparing us for what’s about to burst onto our eardrums for the rest of the album.
Three tracks in and once again we meet Shot in the Dark, AC/DC first single of the album, which features a particularly satisfying bluesy solo from Angus Young.
It was here when we first heard Brian Johnson’s vocals back on top form as ever, just as they are throughout the whole of Power Up.
Next up is Through the Mists of Time which, if slightly slower, almost has the feel of an 80s power ballad.
While another highlight has to be Demon Fire, recently teased in a video trailer, which begins with some very low vocals before unleashing its infectious energy.
Later on in Power Up, we came to the slower bluesy and soulful No Man’s Land, ahead of the concluding powerful hard rock anthem Code Red.
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All in all, Power Up is a fantastic tribute to the late Malcolm Young, just as Back in Black was to Bon Scott 40 years ago.
Despite AC/DC members being in their sixties and seventies, Power Up proves the band are as full of life and energy as they’ve ever been.
No doubt a 2021 tour will follow and with the band’s 50th anniversary in 2023, the sky’s the limit for one of the world’s best-loved rock and roll bands.
Below is the full tracklist for AC/DC’s new album Power Up.
3. Shot in the Dark
4. Through the Mists of Time
5. Kick You When You’re Down
6. Witch’s Spell
7. Demon Fire
8. Wild Reputation
9. No Man’s Land
10. System Down
11. Money Shot
12. Code Red
AC/DC’s new album Power Up will be released on November 13, 2020.
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