Album Review: AC/DC – Power Up (2020, Columbia Records)

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ACDC powerup

On a whim, I recently decided to take a deep dive into Power Up, the latest album from Australian rockers AC/DC and their seventeenth overall. Not sure why – maybe I just felt like I needed some more classic rock in my life. And my initial assessment upon listening? It sounds like an AC/DC album, in the same way that every other AC/DC album before it has sounded like an AC/DC album. AC/DC are nothing if not consistent.

Yes, an AC/DC album sounding on brand is nothing surprising, but that sonic consistency is actually one of the band’s biggest assets. After all, you don’t go to AC/DC expecting flirtations with EDM or a Spinal Tap Mark II jazz odyssey. No, you go to AC/DC for those big riffs, Brian Johnson’s distinctive vocals and to think, “Wow, that 65 year old man is really still committed to wearing a schoolboy’s outfit, eh? Good for him, I guess.”

In a way, listening to a new AC/DC album is a bit like going to a chain restaurant – you know what to expect, you know it’ll be more or less the same every time, and even when there’s something new on the menu, it still has the same signature style. But often, that’s exactly what you’re in the mood for. And this new chapter in AC/DC’s story certainly holds up to the band’s legacy.

I could go into greater detail and describe the specifics of each song, but honestly, do I really need to? If I say that it sounds like AC/DC, pretty much everyone will know what I mean, unless they’re been hiding in a cave for the past 50 years or so. That said, it’s a pretty good effort with a few memorable tunes, and considering all that the band has been through in recent years (Brian Johnson’s hearing issues, Phil Rudd’s legal troubles, the 2017 death of Malcolm Young) the fact that the band even put out another album is pretty impressive.

Anyways, here’s Wonderwall “Realize.”

Song Of The Day: Mogwai – Ritchie Sacramento

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This new Mogwai single is very good. That is all.

Song Of The Day: The Deathray Davies – Oh Stars

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Looking for something to do that’ll kill a few minutes? You’re in luck – The Deathray Davies have coincidentally named their upcoming new album Time Well Wasted and upon listening to first single “Oh Stars” I’d have to agree that it’s a pretty good way to spend the next two minutes and fifty three seconds. Check it out below.

Time Well Wasted is out February 12 via State Fair/We Know Better.

Song Of The Day The Antlers – Solstice

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Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

The Antlers have long been a Panic Manual favourite so the recent announcement that they’ll be releasing their new album (and first in seven years) Green To Gold in March of this year is certainly a welcome one.

And if latest single “Solstice” is any indication, the new album finds the band in generally good spirits. As singer Peter Silberman explains, “this is the first album I’ve made that has no eeriness in it”, adding that this time around, he set out to make “Sunday morning music.”

Green To Gold is out March 26 via ANTI- Records. Check out the video for “Solstice” below.

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