All Rock, No Bust
4 Out Of 5 Stars
There's no-one else alive that can power-chord the way Angus Young can. Or yowl the way Brian Johnson does. It's why any AC/DC album is met with such great anticipation. This time, from the powerful title track to the walking shuffle of "Emission Control," "Rock Or Bust" delivers hammer-down rock like only AC/DC can.
Another noteworthy thing about "Rock Or Bust" is its brevity. Clocking in at 11 songs in 35 minutes, it delivers short and sharp stabs of guitar and Phil Rudd's primitive thud, Each song delivers its message, solo and gets out of its own way as soon as the meat is delivered. Heck, the great "Play Ball" (heard during the 2014 MLB World Series) gets it done in under 3 minutes. While it may disappoint fans who would rather Angus wing-it off into super solo land or a blues workout or two, to me it's like a prize fighter dispensing with the dancing and heading straight for the knockout punch.
At times the lyrics fall into beer raising similarity (4 songs that have 'rock' in the title is more than a little telling), but the album doesn't suffer from it. You don't come to an AC/DC party looking for PhD material. "Rock Or Bust" is AC/DC proving their point. There's a nice shout out to founding member Malcolm Young in the CD booklet...like it or not, your favorite bands are growing older with you. Even so, AC/DC enter their 40th year as a rock and roll powerhouse, and they show no signs of stopping.