Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/7/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
AC/DC – “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” (1975)
I fell in love with AC/DC’s sound at a very young age. I can’t remember the exact moment, but I know that the album was Dirty Deeds. It wasn’t long after my discovery that Brian Johnson replaced Bon Scott after his passing. For most of my life, I thought of Angus Young and Brian Johnson as AC/DC. Sure, I knew about Malcolm Young, but he wasn’t the powerful voice that made you sing along with every song or the showman of his brother Angus (the schoolboy).
I’m guilty of taking Malcolm for granted, as I’m sure many others are as well. It wasn’t until after his passing that I learned that he was looked at as the heart and soul of the band that helped shape my youth.
Official statement from AC/DC…
“Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.”
“As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
“It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” actually took on more meaning to me in recent years because of my own familial connection. Despite the fact that my son has gravitated away from the rock and roll path that I put him on at an extremely young age, there is one strong connection that he still has to the music…
School Of Rock has been my son’s favorite movie for as long as I can remember. The instantly recognizable opening riff of the song that I most associate with the movie is being played by Malcolm. The unsung hero of AC/DC was responsible for much of the music that drew me to the band in my youth, and has kept me engaged through my adulthood. I’m sad to see him gone too soon, and just as sad that I never fully appreciated his vast contributions to AC/DC until after his passing.
AC/DC – “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” (1980)
To this day, Back In Black remains one of my all-time favorite albums. The album closer, “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,” represents everything that AC/DC is about. If another band sang about “rock and roll” as often as AC/DC, they would probably be mocked, or looked at as a parody of themselves. But somehow, when AC/DC does it, it just seems natural and appropriate.
As sad as the rock world is about the untimely demise of Malcolm Young, he would want us all to move on. I know, it sounds like a cliché, and there is really no way for me to know what he was thinking, but something that he said after Bon Scott’s passing leads me to believe that this is true…
It was Malcolm who inspired the band to move on just three days after Scott’s funeral. In his own words…
“I thought, ‘Well, fuck this, I’m not gonna sit around mopin’ all fucking year.’ So I just rang Angus and said, ‘Do you wanna come back and rehearse?’.”
AC/DC would go on to record an album that is a staple of an entire generation of rock and roll fans’ collections. We all have Malcom Young to thank for that.
RIP Malcolm! Thanks for the memories!
KEVIN GRAYSON – HRD Music Scout
ATOMSHIP – “Pencil Fight” (2004)
Yep, you read it right! Someone wrote a song called “Pencil Fight,” and man, it’s a good one too. I wanted to shed a little light on a band that is basically right in my backyard. Atomship is a four-piece, gifted Alt Metal band from Ocean Springs, Mississippi. They are best known for their 2004 release, “Pencil Fight” (off of their superb album, The Crash of ’47). Although they have been broken up, they recently got back together to work on new music.
At first, I couldn’t really put my finger on what I was hearing when I discovered Atomship. Their drummer Chad Kent, while busy, might be one of the greatest drummers ever. The late Nathan Slade was an outstanding guitar player, who somehow played effortlessly over Kent’s drumming, creating a sound that flowed so well together. He chose his spots to show off his skills. Slade has now been replaced by his brother (Jared), who is doing an admirable job filling his brother’s shoes.
Rounding out the band is the flawless timing of Roy Williams’ thumping bass, and the unique vocals of Joey Culver, who was actually discovered when the band’s original singer (Derek Pardoe) got sick during the recording process.
Atomship only put out one album, but things started to fall apart during the recording of the second album, leaving Culver to work on his next project (see below)…
PAPERCUT MASSACRE – “Left 4 Dead” (2009)
If you think that Papercut Massacre bears some similarity to “Pencil Fight,” then you’re right! I mentioned above that Atomship was working on a second record, but things didn’t go as planned. The record company took over the writing of the music, and most of the band didn’t want any part of it. This freed up Culver to start his next project.
Papercut Massacre turned out to be another very talented group of musicians. Culver has one of those voices that is so distinct that you never forget it after hearing him. Along with Culver, Papercut Massacre features the twin guitar attack of Darin Lee Jerden and Shawn Morgan, giving the band a very full sound. The band’s 2009 release, If These Scars Could Talk, is a solid record all the way through. Unfortunately, it would be the band’s only release.