Back in Black

Diving into an epic abyss.


The Assignment

The best damn record club out there, Vinyl Me Please, posted a tempting tweet this morning.

Good morning girls and boys, today’s assignment: listen to 1 album, considered a classic, that you’ve never listened to before, report back — link

Simple enough, right? I’m a sucker for listening to new material and what is better than to dig up some older material that I’ve heard the name of many times, but never really sat down to listen to — enter the smoky stage lights of AC/DC.

I choose AC/DC’s Back in Black, simply because I just read an article over at Pitchfork about the Cloud Nothings, which is another band have been a great find of mine this year. Their lead singer Dylan Baldi performed the AC/DC song, You Shook Me All Night Long, in elementary school. Awesome, right!

I think we can relate growing up clinging onto some of our parents’ music tastes, so I think we call can find that scenario quite familiar. However, I grew up with my father’s strong taste for Neil Young and Three Dog Night, to quickly name a few — AC/DC never crept into my vocabulary growing up, so let’s download this album and give it a spin.

Back in Black

Having no former knowledge of this band, their history or music, I can’t wait to dig into this album and discover if anything resonates with my odd head. Right off the bat, epic sound, clearly confident mother-fudgers that know what they want and deliver without compromise.

I really love the confident marriage of the powerful guitars and dominant drum rolls. The lead singer’s raspy vocals seems like a perfect match for some of these nothing but awesome soundscapes.

The type of playlist you might blast on your journey to a mind-blowing epic battle of good and evil that Jake and Finn might endure in some of their episodes.

The songs do not let up, like some extraordinary day in middle school where everything went alright — those rare days of youth where the planets were somehow aligned for that one day.


Like Michael Cera in Youth in Revolt, where sometimes you just have to let your alter-ego shine-through to get the girl, or overcome some asshole boss or to prove your parents wrong. The simple, powerful riffs are right up my alley and loving the singer’s passionate dive right into the songs’ legendary ambience.

Pain Points

The songs do blur together for me, not quite clear and distinctive song structure that I see in some of my recent favorite albums. Except for a few stand-out moments, I might mistake this album as a singular forty-three minute song. Nothing wrong per say with that analysis, but with such powerful, consistent sonic bombs as these songs, it gets quite overwhelming with the album on full listen. As it states in Have a Drink on Me, I really hope they’d buy me a drink to keep this album on repeat.

Since the songs really do end up being so similar in structure (at least to me) — I’m not sure if this album will be on repeat for me. Most likely I will take my favorites and throw them in one of my awesome mix playlists.

Highlights

Obviously You Shook Me All Night Long — just an amazing, singable chorus that all of us can feel like rockstars in our own light. The album has both an amazing beginning and concluding songs, Hells Bells and Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution respectfully. Hells Bells with its’ amazing intro progression right into a welcoming introduction of the singer’s raspy throat. The album conclusion seems to slow down a bit with a direct rock & roll anthem that embraces a catchy chorus similar to You Shook Me All Night Long.

Shoot to Thrill has that amazing pause three-quarters through that begs the speakers to be louder. Back to Black seems an appropriate album-titled song with such an obvious tug and war musical treasure map.


I say kudos young rockers of the 1980’s — I can see why this stirred up some followers for sure.

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