Back on Tracks; They were great. Are they still? New albums from AC/Steely Dan, Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis will tell.; AC/DC needs rock Viagra


AC/DC's Brian Johnson is a randy old buzzard. He's got only one thing on his mind, and it's double entendres.

Skim through the titles on AC/DC's latest album, "Stiff Upper Lip" (EastWest 24942, arriving in stores today), and it's hard to miss the thrust of his lyrics. He "Can't Stand Still" because he wants his honey to "Give It Up." So he's telling her to "Come and Get It" before he heads into the "House of Jazz" and has a "Meltdown."

You can stop snickering now, Beavis.

Such pre-pubescent prurience would be forgivable if Johnson's nudge-wink lyrics were supported by head-banging guitar work.

Somehow, though, Angus Young doesn't seem up to the challenge, matching Johnson's tumescent lyrics with disappointingly flaccid riffage.

Young flails lamely through "House of Jazz," makes the fancy picking in "Can't Stand Still" seem like guitar practice and approaches "Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll" as if he wishes he could. Most embarrassing of all is "Come and Get It," a boogie number played so slowly it sounds like a ZZ Top 45 spun at 33.

The album is not a total waste. Some moments -- the stomping "All Screwed Up," the driving "Safe In New York City" -- evoke the band's former glory. On the whole, though, if ever a band needed a dose of rock Viagra, it's this one.


"Stiff Upper Lip"

EastWest 24942


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