CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Forty Years of AC/DC’s Back In Black

The comeback to end all comebacks, the story of Back in Black (Atlantic Records) began with tragedy but ended in triumph. While comebacks usually require some form of absence from the public eye, a few weeks would barely register as a blip on the timelines of most bands. But for AC/DC, that short space of time was literally life-changing. Continue reading

AC/DC’s Angus And Stevie Young Now Spotted At A Vancouver Recording Studio

In a story we have been tracking at Ghost Cult, it appears as if AC/DC are convening in Vancouver, British Columbia to work on new music. In addition to Former members Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd photographed together, now a published report shows Angus and Stevie Young have been photographed together at the same studio space the band has recorded their last three albums. Hopefully, this is the start of new AC/DC music, which has been up in the air since the death of Malcolm Young, following the release of 2014’s Rock Or Bust. Continue reading

AC/DC Members, Including Brian Johnson And Phil Rudd Appear To Be Recording Together

Much speculation has surrounded AC/DC and whether they would ever make new music together, following the death of Malcolm Young. A few days after a Canadian journalist claimed that Stevie Young and Phil Rudd were spotted in downtown Vancouver, now former singer Brian Johnson and Rudd have been photographed together at a music studio. Vancouver is like a second home to AC/DC, since they made their last three albums in that city. If this is true this would be huge news for the rock world, but it could also be for another project such as a Johnson solo album, as nothing has been confirmed. With the death of Malcolm Young, plus the departures of Johnson, Rudd, and bassist Cliff Williams now retired, fans have wondered if sole remaining founding member Angus Young would keep the band going or decide it was time for AC/DC retire.  Rudd was replaced the last few years in the band by Chris Slade, with Axl Rose stepping in for Brian Johnson. We’ll keep tracking this story here at Ghost Cult. Continue reading

In Memorium: Malcolm Young Of AC/DC- The Architect Of Rock

When Malcolm Young of AC/DC died yesterday at age 64 after a long illness, a small bit of the flame of Rock `n Roll was put out. Al thought the music Young created will live on forever, as an observer of music history, you have to marvel at the longevity and the quality of the songbook he has left and wonder if anyone will ever come along to replicate it. Continue reading

Malcolm Young, Guitar Legend And Co-Founder Of AC/DC, Dead At 64

A terrible loss for the music world as co-founding guitarist Malcolm Young of AC/DC has died at age 64. He had been in ill-health since 2013 since he suffered a stroke, and forced to retire from the band, One of the architects of the sound of AC/DC with his riffs and songwriting style, Young has left a mark on rock history we will all feel forever. The band has commented on his passing. Continue reading

AC/DC’s Angus Young Joins Guns N’ Roses On Stage In Germany

Guns N’ Roses is currently out on the European leg of their “Not In This Lifetime” tour, and they had a special surprise in store for their fans in Germany. Continue reading

Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN cover

Setting out with some hefty tribal drumming and a slow, burning riff, you know what’s coming from Curse of the North: I (Static Tension), the second album from Seattle marauders Curse of the North. Almost. It’s easy to expect lumpen Stoner, yet what bursts forth in the second movement of opener and single ‘Sleep While You Can’ is a rampant blast of Blues-infused Trad metal, electrified by intricate riffs and solos.

Christiaan Morris’ leadplay in the ensuing ‘Wheel of Swords’ is Angus Young-like and ushers in more melodic bludgeon, only marginally let down by a plodding centrepiece which tests the limits of Morris’ throaty roar. The delicate acoustic of ‘Into the Trees’ is initially reminiscent of The Electric Boys and allows Morris to show a gentle, harmonic side to his voice which evokes the first time you heard James Hetfield attempt the same tack: whilst the savage parts of this stirring track’s second segment bring to mind the rhythmic explosions of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’.

Despite the frayed edges of Morris’ able, yet unspectacular and flawed larynx there’s a real life here: the melodies mixing with the fearsome intensity borne from the staggering drumming of Burke Thomas and those slashing, clubbing riffs. The occasionally lightning-fast ‘The Tower’ has a Punk-like vibe shot through with lightly dancing leadwork: whilst the versatile rise-and-fall of ‘The Electric Wall’ remains beset by periods of wonderfully brutal yet tuneful savagery. It’s this delightful reliance on a bedrock of supremely executed speed that gives the sound its refreshing spark. ‘Blessed Burning’s moody verses are lit up by greasy riffs and those pummelling, dictatorial drums, also adding omen to the jangling leads injecting lightness and melancholy into the ferocious groove of ‘Oceans Rise’.

The pensive feel reaches its apex alongside Morris’ vocal in the hulking, brooding closer ‘Faceless Killers’; the fathomless whisper of its verses exploding into a vicious yet maudlin crush which is illuminated by sparkling yet understated soloing. This instrumentation is both the impetus and effervescence of a highly enjoyable offering, an infectious battering ram of brute force, subtlety and creativity.





ThunderMother – Road Fever


One of the great conceits about reviewing music is just how awfully seriously people can take it: I know, for I am one of the worst culprits. Each new release is often treated as if it were the Second Coming with journalists falling over themselves in the search for innovative epigrams or snarky turns of phrase that underscore just how enamoured they are of the latest release from someone you’ve never heard of and are unlikely to hear of again. Similarly, the attempts to shoehorn a pretty mediocre record into the fabled canon of classics is another default setting of those who would seek to “criticise music”.

Sometimes, it’s a relief to go back to basics and consider a record as unfettered entertainment: no airs, no graces, just solid rock n roll that makes you bang your head and punch the air in vicarious delight. So let’s do just that, kids.

Stockholm’s ThunderMother are a rip snortin’, hard drinkin’, ever flirtin’ rock n’ roll outfit with more nods to AC/DC than an Angus Young headbanging session. This is the sort of rock ‘n’ roll that fuels a Friday night after a hard week at work, when you’re looking to let your hair down and have a damn fine time. It’s the aural equivalent of a Jaegerbomb.

The AC/DC influence is palpable and worn as a badge of honour. In some respects, this could be a female version of Airbourne but without the grating insufferableness of the Antipodeans. With songs like ‘It’s Just a Tease’ (a great putdown of boorish males);  ‘Deal with The Devil’, ‘Roadkill’ or ‘Thunder Machine’ you know that ThunderMother aren’t looking to win the Booker prize, but there is an energy and a wit to the song-writing and the playing: this is an album that gallops along breathlessly, stopping only for another beer and a shot of bourbon.

Road Fever (Despotz) has no qualms or anxieties about whether you think that this is a record that matters or will be changing the world. It is a record that comes in, does a bit of a turn, shouts a bit and then leaves. It has a pile of energy and a feisty set of lyrics that conjure an infectious image of the last-gang-of-girls-in-town, partying all day and night and rightly belittling the male population for being idiots: in many ways, this is Lena Dunham’s Girls with a hard rock soundtrack.