Shot In The Dark itself has been teased earlier this week with a video snippet shot in Holland which captures Angus in full schoolboy uniform peeling off one of his trademarked solos, while further footage shows the bonhomie that exists among fellow band members.
The good times promised in the video are delivered in full on the tune itself, which kicks off with a simple guitar motif and two chord punctuations before launching into a familiar, high-rolling ’DC stomp. The immediate impression is that their sound is stripped back rather than smothered, Brendan O’Brien’s production providing a lightness of touch and clarity to the proceedings.
Melodically, there are echoes of every aspect of the ’DC’s career – from the Bon Scott-era classic If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) through to the 1990 anthem Thunderstruck. The latter is reinforced by Brian’s knowing lyricism which, early doors, references ‘a rolling thunder truck’.
As ever, alongside the gang vocals (which actually possess a further lightness of touch), there is a tongue-in-cheek quality to Brian’s wordplay. The band’s ethos of ‘if I scans-good, then sing it’ remains resolutely intact, leading to a simple, good-humoured punchline: ‘A shot in the dark beats a walk in the park!’
Clocking in at three minutes and five seconds, Shot In The Dark provides us with a much-needed feel-good introduction to one of the most anticipated albums of the year. It suggests that in a year of horrific change, AC/DC remain constant and true to themselves. How good it is to have them back…