Sony have really been pushing the boat out for this one with listening parties, interactive "Black Ice" trucks visiting cities across America, Angus look-a-like competitions, not to mention actually getting the songs out there onto the major radio stations. Before I'd received this CD I'd already heard quite a lot of this album on BBC Radio 2 when "Rock 'n' Roll Train" was Single Of The Week and a few weeks later when the whole album was Album Of The Week.
And why not? After all it is AC/DC's first album since 2000's "Stiff Upper Lip". In a crazy world full of manufactured pop stars, plastic celebrities and endless TV talent shows and their vile supposedly musical offspring, a new album by a much-loved no-nonsense rock band is surely something to celebrate.
But do you really need me to review this for you? You know what it is. You know what it's going to sound like. It sounds like AC/DC. You know exactly what you're getting when you see those four capital letters on the front cover.
And that's not to say that it's a bad thing. This is what people want from AC/DC. How alarming would it have been if they'd decided to change their style and produce an experimental electro jazz fusion concept album? Or something? AC/DC's motto must be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and this album delivers 15 cuts of no-nonsense straight-ahead riff-tastic rock 'n' roll boogie. On one track I thought I could hear a similarity with early Status Quo, whilst another was reminiscent of ZZ Top. But of course, it's just AC/DC doing their thing.
You've got to hand it to the brothers Malcolm and Angus Young who penned the 15 songs here. Along with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi they surely must be Undisputed Masters Of The Guitar Riff. How they keep coming up with riff after riff after riff (which of course leads to song after song after song) I really don't know.
So, to sum up: no surprises but thorougly enjoyable.
AC/DC. Does exactly what it says on the tin.