I don't think any other album by any other band could have been more welcome in this mess of a year that is 2020 than a new AC/DC album, and Power Up is exactly the medicine that we've all been craving these last few months. Coming six years after Rock or Bust, Power Up brings back the classic line-up of Angus Young, Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams, and Phil Rudd, along with Angus' nephew Stevie Young, and the guys have put together another fine, hard rocking batch of tunes here that will satisfy any longtime fan. All the tracks here were written by Angus and his late brother Malcolm Young, so the songs feature riffs, melodies, and musical ideas that have been floating around within the band for some time, and it's not hard to feel Malcolm's shadow all over these vibrant compositions. Brendan O'Brien handled the production chores here, and did a fine job all around.
Instantly memorable anthems such as "Realize", "Rejection", "Shot in the Dark", "Kick You When You're Down", "Money Shot", "Demon Fire", and "Systems Down" all feature those classic styled guitar riffs, Angus' stinging bluesy solos, those 'locked in the pocket' grooves, and Johnson's mighty roar. In fact, the vocalist sounds as good here as he has in years, his few years away from the band no doubt doing his voice a world of good. At 40-minutes, Power Up is the perfect length, not the short snapshot that was Rock or Bust or the slightly bloated Black Ice, with each song 3-4 minutes long and chock full of all the ingredients who love and expect from an AC/DC album. Big kudos to the rich backing vocals that are liberally sprinkled throughout the album...it almost sounds like the Mutt Lange era all over again!
Fun, memorable, and 100% AC/DC, Power Up is the perfect antidote for a year filled with too much talk of pandemics, politics, and other assorted topics that are only bringing us down. Rock on people!!!
1. "Realize" 3:37
2. "Rejection" 4:06
3. "Shot in the Dark" 3:06
4. "Through the Mists of Time" 3:32
5. "Kick You When You're Down" 3:10
6. "Witch's Spell" 3:42
7. "Demon Fire" 3:30
8. "Wild Reputation" 2:54
9. "No Man's Land" 3:39
10. "Systems Down" 3:12
11. "Money Shot" 3:05
12. "Code Red" 3:31