Sound Affects

what is this six-stringed instrument but an adolescent loom?

Posts Tagged ‘ACDC

ACDC – Black Ice (album review)

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ACDC return with 16th studio album.

World is now a better place.

Men and women of Australia –

Rejoice! For the years of unleavened bread are over!

On October 28, ACDC will release their first studio album since 2000’s Stiff Upper Lip, bringing surely the darkest days of Australian music to an end.

And what an album it is.

Despite all the members of the band rivalling Methuselah for age, this album shakes, rattles and rolls with all the chutzpah of a band that know exactly who they are, what their sound is and where they stand in the pantheon of rock. Not for them the stripped-bare minimalism of Kanye West’s Love Lockdown. Not for them the lush, atmospheric departure from rawer beginnings, a la Kings of Leon, nor the disturbing new trend of everyone in the world being produced by Timbaland (Bjork, Duran Duran, Coldplay). ACDC knew what we wanted from them, and they have delivered.

By know you have surely heard Runaway Train, the album’s first track and lead single. Happily, though, the metaphor was not autobiographical, and ACDC continue to stay on track, flying down that highway to hell that has lain stretched out in front of them since long before the late, great Bon Scott donned pigtails and a pinafore on Countdown in 1974.

They revisit all the old stomping grounds that made them what they are today – cash (Money Made), roads and other modes of transportation (Rock N Roll Train, Wheels) and wild partying (Anything Goes) – but, in what must reassure us all in these politically, economically and socially turbulent times, a full quarter of the album’s titles involve rocking (Rock N Roll Train, She Likes Rock N Roll, Rock N Roll Dream and Rocking All The Way).

There is nothing new here. But, with apologies to Bob Hawke, anyone who attacks this album for its sameness is a mug. We do not want bold experimentation from these titans of rock and roll. We want ACDC to restore our faith in good old-fashioned RAWK! To banish the rising tide of fluoro and synthesisers that threaten to sink us all.

So go! Buy this album when it comes out. I defy anyone to press ‘play’ and not start grinning from ear to ear the very instant Angus Young’s Gibson SG roars into life.
This is one for the true believers. Australia, and the world, is better for having Black Ice in it.

seriously, though, how awesome is this cover art?

seriously, though, how awesome is this cover art?

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Written by soundaffects

October 10th, 2008 at 6:15 pm

OLD STUFF (review): Veya – Slanted City

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(written August 1, 2007)

If Wolfmother is the crazed, hyper-active love child of Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep, then the Sunshine Coast 4-piece VEYA is the result of some serious sexy-time between the ‘Mother and, say, At The Drive-In.

It’s a sound that seems acknowledge the direction that the rock market is currently moving in, while at the same time longing for the riff-a-licious, solo-happy days of yore. It’s the sort of instantly marketable sound that makes you wonder if there is an astute producer or manager behind the scenes, steering the band towards the money.

But after one listen to Slanted City, any such thoughts are immediately banished. VEYA’s new 6-track EP smacks of independence and passion, ideologically reminiscent of the sheer fury of The Sex Pistols, with a Ramones-ian habit of being known only by their first names. This vitality, coupled with raw, unadorned recordings leaves you in no doubt that these boys are doing their own thing.

The music is remarkably tight and accomplished for a band of teenagers, with the drum and bass partnership of Skot and Leon seemingly telepathically linked, driving the songs with a furious energy. On top of this is Eddy’s seriously impressive guitar work. Each track could be an audition tape for Guitar Hero III, complete with classic riffs and blistering, perfectly-structured solos that recall a bygone era while still managing to sound fresh and interesting.

The one area where this album falls out is on the only soft track, Come Home. While the guitar part is very sweet, the lyrics doesn’t do it justice. The chorus “nothing can scare me/more than the army has already done” is not exactly Shakespeare, and the vocals during the bridge are strained, and slightly painful to listen to. And while Veya can hardly be accused of being the only band in the world singing with a fake American accent, it never sounds good.

Generally though, Dominic’s vocals match the urgency of the music, with a current, vaguely emo sound to it. This isn’t meant as a derogatory term, despite the current penchant for emo-bashing in music media. However, it must be said that Dom’s rock and roll wail needs a little bit of work. His upper register isn’t particularly strong, but for the most part this simply adds to the unrelenting energy of a band that seems desperate to speak their piece.

Written by soundaffects

August 30th, 2008 at 12:27 pm