High Voltage



by bellovddd USER (60 Reviews)
March 18th, 2024 | 4 replies

Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist


AC/DC. One of Australia’s most prominent musical acts were the house band at my parents formal (prom). My Dad tells me ‘We thought they were good, but the singer appeared to be quite intoxicated’. Dad was very much, your stereotypical little *** when he was growing up. Underage drinking, smoking, fighting – all the fun stuff. His lost a few teeth and is missing half of his pinky on his right hand from what he calls, a ‘night out with mates’. My Mum on the other hand, was your prototype bookworm. To busy studying to worry about boys especially the kind that fight and drink. I know this sounds like a script from a Breakfast Club movie but it’s the way the story goes…. Dad played in a little ***ty rock band for a couple of months and his very last gig happened to be at a Dance with my mum’s school. Both 16 years of age and my Dad’s average guitar playing must have worked cause here we are today almost 40 years later, and they are still together dancing their way into retirement.

AC/DC were always on in my house. Along with The Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, ABBA, and Black Sabbath, I had a taste of it all from a very young age. I gravitated more towards AC/DC because I could understand the simplicity behind it all. Let’s be honest if you like one AC/DC song you will probably like them all. They aren’t going to really grow and experiment too much throughout their career but their unmistakable dueling guitars and riffing has left a mark on Heavy Metal music that will never go away.

When I sat down to listen to this album for this write-up it had been several years and instantly Malcolm’s riffing made me feel like I was 6 years of age, sitting out on the back veranda with Mum, Dad and my brothers pretending the coke I was drinking was a beer and singing words I didn’t even understand the meaning of. ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wannna Rock ‘N’ Roll) is by all accounts, the perfect introduction to AC/DC. It has everything you will ever get from them. Dueling bag pipes and guitar solo? CHECK. Malcolm’s unmistakable blues riffs? CHECK. Mark and Phil being human metronomes? CHECK! Bon's unmistakable screeching? CHECK! Its glorious and if you don’t like it, you might as well stop here and never listen to AC/DC again.

The International Release of ‘High Voltage’ really is a compilation of two albums released in Aus and NZ only. And my word, they picked the best of the best. ‘The Jack’ comes in to break the vibe a bit. Still a heavily blues influenced track Malcolm dials back the distortion and Angus provides a lovely soulful solo that made me understand what George meant by his guitar gently weeping. ‘T.N.T’ comes in and Bon’s snarky ‘OI’ is just as remarkable now then it was to 6-year-old me.

His vocals on ‘T.N.T’ particularly stand out as some of the best he laid down. Bon was a great rock vocalist and his more than just screeches and ‘T.N.T’ proves this with strong vocal melodies and a bit of soul floats its way in there. ‘Can I Sit Next To You Girl’ is the best song AC/DC have written and I will die on that hill. It moves along and builds perfectly with Angus’s opening lead riff still moving my feet like nobody’s business and the little runs he does throughout with Malcolm… COME ON MAN…COME. ON.

The cheese is applied all over ‘High Voltage’ through the lyrics. AC/DC wanted to live that Rock n Roll lifestyle and they sure did. ‘High Voltage’ is filled with tales of drinking, fighting, getting stoned and getting laid. It’s a fun listen and does come across as immature and slightly outlandish but the honesty and the talent behind the words make them feel more believable than most. ‘She’s Got Balls’ made me laugh, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but it is what it is!

Malcolm and Angus are the driving force behind everything AC/DC do, more so Malcolm who really holds everything together. The Title Track here has some of their more iconic dual interplay, the verses Malcolm holds down the lower end whilst Angus does some lead over the top and always meeting back where they started. ‘Live Wire’ let’s Malcolm shine with more of his unmistakable riffing over an almost ‘The Sweet’ type of drum and bass beat and he even takes over the Lead work on ‘Little Lover’ and shows that despite being one of the greatest rhythm guitarists ever, he can shred if needed.

AC/DC excelled after this release and became exactly what they had sung about on this record. They travelled the world, played with fellow iconic bands such as Sabbath and left a mark on Heavy Metal music that will never end. Not bad for a bunch of Sydneysiders who played for my Dad’s drunk underage ass many moons ago.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 18th 2024


Album Rating: 4.5

took me a while but here we are. My AC/DC ride was fun, but it sureeeeeee needed a bit of variation on their later records.

March 18th 2024


Huge review - and about time! Good album tbh. In their top 5 at least.

March 18th 2024


Album Rating: 4.5

I was sick with some chronic manflu last week so it took me a while. But such a fun listen. The lyrics make me laugh

March 21st 2024


Album Rating: 3.5

hell yeah brother

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