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'Rock Or Bust'
Released this week...

mark taylor


No one could have predicted the headlines that AC/DC would have been making in the lead up to this, their 15th studio album of their illustrious forty year career.

With the sad admittance of Malcolm Young's illness with dementia forcing his retirement from the band and more bizarrely the bad boy boogie antics of drummer Phil Rudd which will now most probably make them two men down when the band come to tour the album.

Not that bad news has ever wavered the band. When Bon Scott met his untimely death in 1980, AC/DC went through a short quiet grieving period before coming back in little under a year to make the biggest selling Heavy Metal album ever.

AC/DC are from a different age, a time when grown men didn't look for public sympathy or the need to wear plastic charity awareness bands. AC/DC were born with a stiff upper lip.

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It's hard to comprehend what was going through the band's collective mind when they set up camp in Vancouver to record this album with producer Brendan O'Brien, but with nephew and former Starfighters guitarist Stevie Young faithfully stepping in once again to take Malcolm's position, like he did briefly on the 'Blow Up Your Video' tour in 88, it was business as usual.

With songs credited to both Malcolm and Angus Young, 'Rock Or Bust' is brimming with ideas, some of which have been sitting in the can for a long time and brought back to life for a new generation.

Sure, all of us have watched the two promo videos AC/DC have uploaded onto YouTube or even had a sneaky listen to the free streaming a week before the release of 'Rock Or Bust' but AC/DC don't make music to be watched on a computer screen or listened to on I-Tunes. The only way to truly appreciate an AC/DC album is to go out and physically buy a copy and crank it up loud and annoy the neighbours by blasting it on the stereo through big booming speakers.

Clocking in at a little under 35 minutes, this is the shortest albums in the band's career since 'Flick Of The Switch'. With most songs around the three and a half minute mark 'Rock Or Bust' really is a case of less is more. With most modern bands making long boring drawn out albums lasting seventy minutes and more, this album is twice as good.

The lyrics do lack the innuendo talents of before and are in places a little predictable, as if they have been written by a schoolboy. In actual fact, most of the lyrics have been written by a schoolboy with a Gibson SG in his hands.

Sure, 'Rock' is in the title of four songs on this album but AC/DC would never go all Bono on us. No band in the world puts the roll into rock the way that AC/DC do.


When AC/DC do come to tour this album it will be hard to predict which new tracks will make the set because the whole album makes the grade. It's the best, most vibrant and constant album the band have made in years. A stripper could put on a class act to any of these tracks.

I could go into more detail and tell you about individual tracks or how well the style of play is but I'm not. If you like AC/DC then what are you waiting for? If you're still not convinced then kindly ask Santa to stick a copy in your stocking.

I guarantee that you will be doing the Angus duck walk around the living room before you reach the end of 'Rock Or Bust'.

AC/DC have hit the bullseye with this album. Just like the the explosive 3D effect album cover 'Rock Or Bust' is smashing, super, great.

MetalTalk's Mark Taylor getting the lowdown with AC/DC's Brian Johnson, pictured earlier this year in London.

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