It appears that AC/DC, the great Australian hammerhead-rock institution, is ready to return at something like full power. In recent years, the band has been in a state of constant chaotic flux. Malcolm Young, the band’s founding rhythm guitarist, died in 2017. Drummer Phil Rudd spent time in prison for drug possession and threatening to kill. Bassist Cliff Williams left the band. And then there was the whole saga of Brian Johnson, iconic lead screecher ever since 1980. For a while there, it sure looked like Johnson was out of the band. Apparently, he’s not.
In 2016, doctors told Johnson to quit touring or else risk severe hearing loss. Johnson was adamant that he was “not retiring.” AC/DC still went on to tour without Johnson — with Axl Rose, of all people, filling his role. But now, after a bunch of online teasing, AC/DC have made it official: They’re back, with the closest thing to their classic lineup that they could possibly manage.
On Twitter this morning, AC/DC announced that there’s something called Power Up on the way. Presumably, since tours still aren’t happening, that would be a new album — AC/DC’s first since 2014’s Rock Or Bust. More intriguing was the announcement of the band’s lineup. Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams are all once again members of AC/DC alongside guitar legend Angus Young, the one apparently-irreplaceable member of the band. As rhythm guitarist, they’ve got Stevie Young, older brother of both Angus and the late Malcolm. Stevie joined AC/DC as Malcolm’s replacement in 2014. Let’s hope these crazy kids can keep this thing together.