AC/DC has a new album coming out later this year (the beginning of December if that date holds true). That's an exciting bit of news, so in honor of the band I am giving them the Sabbath treatment. For the next few weeks we are going to go album by album through the AC/DC catalogue and give quick rundowns of each one. All of the studio albums will be on display, concluding with their newest Rock or Bust. We kick things off with the Bon Scott era and High Voltage.
The first American album, High Voltage hit in 1976 (there
were two albums before this one that were released solely in Australia). The sleaze of Bon Scott’s vocals along with
the guitar playing of Angus Young was not enough to garner international
acclaim from the time it was released (but it is an album that has aged very
well as songs like “T.N.T.” and “High Voltage” still receive extensive airplay.
Tracks you may
T.N.T. – This and probably anything off Back in Black are the most played songs in the band’s
catalogue. While the song itself holds
up, the amount of overplay it has received causes me to cringe every time I
hear “Oy, Oy, Oy”.
Live Wire – I enjoy this track more for the guitar solo in
the middle of it than anything else. Angus
is just so underappreciated. I often
overlook his musical contributions as well, but looking back on his work, holy
shit that guy could play.
It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll)
– I can do without the bagpipes, but the song holds up very well.
Tracks you should
The Jack – Equal parts blues, rock, sleaze and innuendo
(seriously, Bon Scott could have given Steven Tyler a run for his money in the
innuendo department) this is a track that should be on everyone’s playlist
My personal favorite:
The Jack – You probably assumed this would be my pick,
right? It doesn’t hurt that many of the
“radio friendly” songs have been overplayed (seriously, I could skip over
“T.N.T.” and be perfectly fine never hearing it again)
High Voltage was a
solid opening salvo from AC/DC that definitely put all their cards on the table
for the Bon Scott years. There were
going to be catchy tracks with killer guitar riffs and a vocalist that makes
you want to go shower after hearing him sing.
It was not the best album in their catalogue (tracks like “Little Lover”
and “She’s Got Balls” are okay, but not essential listening) but it was a very
good one, and a great start to their career.
this issue where we left off, with Woden fighting Silverback. They continue to pummel one another until
Woden decides to send them to Earth, because apparently the Martians didn’t do
back on Mainframe’s homeworld where Replica is just returning to her regular
size after investigating Mainframe’s illness.
She is carrying a piece of the goo that she found last issue that seemed
to be literally gumming up Mainframe.
All of a sudden she doubles over in pain. The goo that she picked up has somehow
entered her body and is wreaking all kinds of havoc on her. Martinex quickly takes Replica to the med-lab
to diagnose and treat her condition (goo infestation?)
is playing doctor, we travrl out in to space where Firelord has come across an
alien named Haxmat. Again, I would like
to point out Kevin West’s character designs.
There are some instances, especially on the regular series where he
looks like he’s mailing it in, but when it comes to this series in particular,
and especially the new villain character designs, West is on point from the
get-go. Firelord tangles with Hazmat but
is taken out of commission early on (some protector of the universe he is) and
it’s Ghost Rider to the rescue.
Earth, Woden and Silverback crash land on a desolate patch of ground. Their battle continues and carries them into
a nearby lake, where they are greeted by a creepy octopus/crab monster. The seismic activity associated with their
touchdown on Earth registers as far away as New York City, where Tarin is
pining away for Hollywood.
Hollywood…he is still arguing with Vision.
All of a sudden their argument ceases as a spaceship crash lands near
them. They both go to check it out and
are ambushed by Savant, who wipes their minds, leaving them as piles on the
ground. Savant then decides to have a
little fun and give them back just enough of their memories so that they
remember that they hate each other. This
causes them to duke it out in deep space.
Back on the
Guardians’ ship Firelord is in the Med-Bay as well, and while he heals Martinex
checks on Replica, who feels better, but that’s only because whatever is inside
her is lying dormant. When she uses her
shapeshifting powers it comes to the forefront, bursting forth from her mouth
and knocking her out. This is the final
villain revealed this issue as Ganglia makes its presence known.
So, for a
head count…we have Martinex and Ghost Rider, that’s it. Everyone else is incapacitated in some form
Is this the end of the Galactic Guardians? Will they not even be able to finish
out their limited series? Oh the
has been at this for a long time and while most people love his contributions
to Guns ‘N Roses far more than anything else he has done, I have to admit that
later-era Slash is quickly becoming my favorite version. For a quick Slash history lesson, he started
out in Guns ‘N Roses (instead of Tracii Guns who went on to form LA Guns), and
when Axl Rose did Axl Rose things and G’N’R (at least it’s most popular
incarnation) disbanded. Slash went on to
form Slash’s Snakepit (which bares quite the resemblance to his current work)
and then formed the supergroup Velvet Revolver with Duff and Matt from G’N’R as
well as vocalist and heroin cautionary tale Scott Weiland. I have a feeling, if Weiland had not done
Weiland things, that Velvet Revolver would still be going today. Alas that was not the case and Slash ventured
out on his own. His initial solo album was a collaborative
effort, everyone from Ozzy to Lemmy to Fergie played a role. It was here that the current incarnation of
the band was formed when he partnered with Myles Kennedy. That brings us to now and the band of Slash;
Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
going to lie, I was never a huge Myles Kennedy fan, even during my review of Apocalyptic Love upon its release I
mentioned how I was unimpressed by the vocals.
Myles grew on me every time I listened to that album (and it was a lot) and while I will never count him as
one of my favorite vocalists, his presence on World on Fire was not as jarring as it was on the initial playthroughs
of Apocalyptic Love. His range as a vocalist is incredible and he
meshes with Slash and the Conspirators better than anyone save maybe Axl Rose.
as Kennedy is on this album (as well as the Conspirators, let’s not discount
their contribution) this is a Slash album through and through. The guitar work is beautiful throughout, with
a very Iron Maiden-esque galloping guitar style playing a prominent role on the
last two albums. Not that Slash has
changed his style at all, but I have definitely noticed that style more with
this band. Slash has grown as a guitar
player throughout his various projects (and that’s saying a lot for someone
that was a legend after his first G’N’R album) and I have enjoyed seeing that
journey, and conversely, can’t wait to see where it goes next.
the album is good, it definitely has an Apocalyptic
Love – Side B feel to it. I am
hard-pressed to find anything too new or different on this album. This is not a bad thing at all, who really
wants to reinvent themselves every two years or so, but in terms of the tracks
on Apocalyptic Love and those on World on Fire, it feels like they were
written at the same time and then split, almost like Use Your Illusion I and II, an inadvertent double album so to
speak. To be honest, that is perfectly
fine with me, the more music Slash releases, the happier everyone will be. Now to just get him to tour around the
Central New York area…