The mind-?numbingly formulaic songs on Black Ice make it clear that AC/DC's goal here was to appeal to their committed hordes of fans with new material indiscernible from old material rather than attempt anything different. It's a very conservative and cynical strategy designed to shift units, and it might've worked had the brotherly brain trust of Angus and Malcolm Young been able to come up with at least a few exciting guitar riffs or entertaining lines. But they seem to have run dry of both.
Sure, Black Ice may sound like a vintage AC/DC record in a superficial way, thanks to producer Brendan O'Brien and engineer Mike Fraser, but having Brian Johnson squeal dumb cliché phrases - three of the 15 songs have "rock 'n' roll" in the title while a fourth has "rocking" - over a steady 4/4 thump is going to bore even their most ardent followers. Does no one else find a 53-?year-?old dude running around in a school boy uniform creepy?