Review Summary: I'm like, "meh".
1983 was a GUUUREAT year for many many many rock/metal bands, but it wasn't a good year for AC/DC. Phil Rudd was fired, Malcolm drank like crazy, their 1983 album is self-produced (the drastic drop in songwriting and sonic quality compared to the Mutt Lange-period is painfully obvious) and from here on they would write albums with basically one or two really good songs (usually the singles), a couple of decent songs and then a TON of filler. It's an alright attempt at blues rock but they would do a way better job later on with Ballbreaker or 'Powerage II', which is a WAY better album.
Alright, let's not waste too much time here and get to the songs:
- Rising Power: Great opener. The drums. Sound. AWESOME here. Great lyrics and great chorus. He's talking about his erecting dick lololol
- This House is On Fire: Yeah, some nice blues rock, but nothing really that special. This song has good production, unlike most of the others on this album.
- Flick of The Switch: Good song. Can't say much more about it.
- Nervous Shakedown: Another standout. This one grooves really really well. It's good, but it doesn't do THAT much for me. Could've been awesome with better production.
- Landslide: Timing is a bit off in the beginning, boys! The riff was stolen from a Ted Nugent song, Motor City Madhouse (thanks to whoever said that on the AC/DC fans forum). Boring chorus, though.
- Guns For Hire: Woah, woah, we got an asskicker here, people. Best song on the album in my opinion. 'Guns For Hire' would wind up on the Iron Man 2 soundtrack later on.
- Deep In The Hole: Hmm, this could be pretty good stuff, but it's nothing that really that exciting. Boring verse vocals. Filler.
- Bedlam in Belgium: Sh*t filler with a sh*t riff and a sh*t chorus. Somehow, Malcolm always manages to come up with the sh*ttiest AC/DC riffs. No offense to him and he seems like a nice bloke, but maybe if he didn't drank so much around this time, he would come up with better stuff than the ***e he wrote from here on. He had some decent riffs in the 70s and on BIB, but his riffs are pretty much eclipsed by his little bro's, who can boast a huge range of awesome rock riffs. I'm guessing Malcolm is the one who comes up with the 'three chord riffs' (ex. Bedlam In Belgium), while Angus comes up with the more creative ones (ex. Landslide). Can't say for sure, because I don't always know who wrote which riff.
- Badlands: Decent blues rocker with a decent chorus. I like the part before the solo and the solo itself very much.
- Brainshake: Poor filler. Worst way to end an album, EVER. Just weak, man. Probably one of the worst songs they ever wrote, right down there with stuff like Love Song and Hell Or High Water. The main riff would be recycled and reworked for a WAY better song on one of their later albums.
This album wasn't that successful for a reason. It's just not that good. It's decent but that's about it. Monotonous. No consistently good production. No REALLY good songs (even their sh*tty debut album at the very least has an AWESOME rendition of 'Baby Please Don't Go'). No hits. No classics. Lots of filler. Yes, some fan favorites here and there, but a couple of good songs doesn't make a good album. When I play Ballbreaker, I'm like, "GODDAMN!!!", when I play Flick, I'm like, "meh".
I think that the hardcore fans like to call this a really good and underrated album because it's not that commercially and critically successful, but as much as I love AC/DC, Flick Of The Switch overall just doesn't have anything magic to it. If I took out all the filler and the meh songs, I'd be left with only 4 or 5 tracks and that's not good enough for me to go out and buy the whole album.
I know Angus says that his band will never go digital, which I totally respect, but this is EXACTLY why AC/DC SHOULD be on iTunes, so I can buy only the good songs. AC/DC have a LOT of filler songs which sound like they were thrown together in 15 minutes.
So yes, there is some truth to what the casual fans say all the time: "All you really need is Back In Black." Not quite literally like that of course, but you kinda get the point.
BTW, Angus Young should be the last musician on earth to say that "one or two songs doesn't represent us musically". I LOL-ed at that statement. One or two, maybe three songs DO represent you musically, you say that yourself all the time, "yeah we always write the same song, yeah we always put out the same album with a different cover, yeah we have like fifteen albums that sound the same, hahaha, blah blah blah." So no offense Angus, I love you (no homo) but that statement was ridiculous.