The band’s newest collection will turn any bleak mood into thrilling energy
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
The album comprises of unused songs that AC/DC’s lead guitarist Angus Young (who is also Malcolm’s brother) chose to honour Malcolm’s memory.
If you’re not a devout follower of Australian rock band AC/DC, you’ll probably still recognize their iconic songs from Jon Favreau’s Iron Man films. However, these frenetic rockers have been through their own share of tragedies; guitarist Malcolm Young passed in 2017 after battling with dementia. Despite past loss and the current pandemic, their newest album Power Up offers a foot-stomping and head-banging repertoire that deserves to be played at maximum volume.
Upon hearing the first track “Realize”—with a guitar intro followed by lead singer Brian Johnson’s growling and raspy vocals—hardcore fans will know that they’re in for an exhilarating ride. The album comprises of unused songs that AC/DC’s lead guitarist Angus Young (who is also Malcolm’s brother) chose to honour Malcolm’s memory. With the nostalgic family ties behind it, the playlist is a bold declaration of the band’s refusal to stay down—and exemplifies their love for all things rock ‘n’ roll.
An admirable theme of the soundtrack is persistence and how important it is to make the best of your circumstances. This simple yet straightforward subject delivers emotional support and encouragement for listeners, while still giving them a fun time.
One of the album’s best songs “Shot in the Dark” blends Angus Young’s crazy guitar playing with rollicking drum set rhythms and Johnson belting out every word for the familiar dynamics we all love. Even the lyrics “You got a long night comin’ / And a long night goin’ / You got the right position / The heat of transmission” reflects the inner strength needed to brave through difficult moments. These lyrical choices convey how crucial it is to endure and find ways to moveforward despite the personal problems we all deal with along the way.
AC/DC also makes sure that horror buffs are not left behind through their tracks “Witch’s Spell” and “Demon Fire” that provide supernatural imagery. These songs alone would be perfect for Halloween, but they also relay the band as the rock gods of the heavy metal underworld.
However, the album has a few tracks with messages that may be uncomfortable for those seeking rock music containing more positive themes. The song “Kick You When You’re Down” uses lyrics like “Hey, mama / Why are you beatin’ on my head? / Hey, hey, woman / Why do you kick me outta bed?” The piece explores past pain with family dysfunction, while conveying the anguish from those unpleasant memories. Despite these connotations, the track is easily a crowd favorite with its guitar riffs and hard drum hits that elevate Johnson’s intoxicating vocals.
Overall, AC/DC’s Power Up album brings an enveloping joy to fans to let them know that the band will always be there for them. Their collection signals the group’s unstoppable return and is an art piece worth adding to the top of your playlist. What are you waiting for? Press play and start rockin’!