Let There Be Rock

(1977), 7.5/10
Usually I’m stringent about listening to albums many times before rating and reviewing them, but I’m on a long haul flight with a limited selection of albums and a lot of spare time. And if there’s a candidate for a band whose albums are decipherable after a handful of listens, it’s Australian hard-rock titans AC/DC. The band have a great sound, based around Malcolm Young’s bluesy riffing, Bon Scott’s wail, and Phil Rudd’s simple, driving beats. They milk the sound for the entirety of Let There Be Rock, and dropping the guitars on the verse of the title track is as far as they venture from it.

This makes AC/DC a difficult proposition to sit through on a bad day; when they don’t have a memorable vocal hook or guitar riff to build around, like ‘Dog Eat Dog’ they’re monotonous. But there’s strong material; ‘Go Down’ is a strong opener while ‘Bad Boy Boogie’ rocks, while the introspective decadence of the lyrics varies from their standard rock and roll braggadocio. ‘Problem Child’ is an archetypal AC/DC song that they’ve probably written dozens of times, but it’s still a blast.

I’d never heard an AC/DC album before two runs through Let There Be Rock, but it’s exactly what I was expecting – fun, energetic bluesy rock that’s likable even though the group’s musical and thematic palettes are limited.

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