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Rock Or Bust
December 2014
Released: 2014, Columbia
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos

The giant AC/DC juggernaut is back striking all of us with a new album, ROCK OR BUST, possibly the last album of that blazing career (law troubles, cf. Phil Rudd, heatlth issues, Malcolm Young’s dealing with dementia).

ROCK OR BUST is another AC/DC album (in a good way of course!) with the one and only formula they followed all these 40 years. A multi-Xeroxed one by too many artists out there, but no one of them could catch up the rock burning Australian music soul! Producer Brendan O'Brien does something miraculous in that you don't notice him at all for one more successful time (he did it again in BLACK ICE).

On ROCK OR BUST, you hear every one of Phil Rudd's cymbal crashes, every pluck of Cliff Williams's bass - and the chugging dual guitars of Angus and Stevie Young (the nephew of Young brothers) work together like well-oiled pistons. Clarity and precision never sounded so delightfully raucous, so un-fussed over. This is assured rock 'n' roll, no doubt, but it's rock 'n' roll art too - and that ain't a bad place to be, don’t you think?

This album is another great statement that rock’n’roll is still alive and rock monsters do it as no one “young” can. Every song here is a kicking and screaming delightful raucous rock dynamite. The opener title song is classic! The entire album TOO!!! “Play ball” is a great song close enough to BLACK ICE mood and style. “Miss Adventure” reeks of LET THERE BE ROCK mood (viz all time classic!). In the middle of the album, “Dogs of War” stands tall and proud with Angus’ backing vocals! (He should have sing that song!) with an incredible riff pattern! “Got Some Rock’n’Roll Thunder” is a wandering song perfectly written for live performances (and many shots as well!). I do like the sneaky “Hard Times” with an amazing chorus and ending guitar solo. “Baptism By Fire”=flame and youth! (the words youth and Young are too close,huh???). The tongue-in-cheek “Rock The House” follows the pattern of “Rock’n’Roll Train” successfully, of course. Another dynamic songs is coming, “Sweet Candy”, caring the same raw attitude that AC/DC have always conceived the band with. And the last song of ROCK OR BUST, the perfect rock’n’roll deliverance, “Emission Control”, slower than the previous ones, but pure and solid.

ROCK OR BUST is the fifteenth internationally released studio album (the sixteenth one overall). Be sure that ROCK OR BUST belongs very much at the upper end of their long discography scale. There is no doubt that ROCK OR BUST is a perfect rock album. AC/DC’s flame is still burning and can take the piss out of it and the hell out of you! And this ain’t a bad place to be, as I said before. This rock’n’roll bell tolls for one more time and the fans will follow. The band does try and approach a new frontier for their musical creations; it does work on such a caliber as this record aims to be. I can’t stand when I hear about AC/DC’s lack of evolution in music. They play rock’n’roll, and that’s it.
Track Listing

1. Rock or Bust
2. Play Ball
3. Rock The Blues Away
4. Miss Adventure
5. Dogs of War
6. Got Some Rock&Roll Thunder
7. Hard Times
8. Baptism By Fire
9. Rock The House
10. Sweet Candy
11. Emission Control


Brian Johnson – lead vocals
Angus Young – lead guitar
Stevie Young – rhythm guitar
Cliff Williams – bass
Phil Rudd – drums

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