One of the most famous bands in rock history, AC/DC is loved by fans around the world for their heavy yet minimalist style, layered power chords, and forceful vocals.
Founded in 1973 by Australian brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, the band released their debut album, High Voltage, in 1975. However, AC/DC truly took off after releasing Back in Black in 1980, which went on to become one of the best-selling rock records of all time, thanks to songs like this one.
Over the past three-and-a-half decades, the band has released more than 17 albums and sold over 200 million records worldwide. With hits such as Highway to Hell, it’s no surprise that AC/DC have inspired bands around the world.
If you’re looking to headbang to some hard rock ‘n’ roll, here are five of the best bands like AC/DC.
It’s hard not to talk about bands like AC/DC without mentioning Airbourne. Founded in 2003 in a coastal Australian town called Warrnambool, Airbourne’s core band consists of Joel O’Keeffe on lead vocals and lead guitar, Ryan O’Keeffe on drums, Justin Street on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Harri Harrison on rhythm guitar.
Airbourne’s first album, Runnin’ Wild, was released in 2007. Since then, they have gone on to release another four albums and countless hits, including Back in the Game, It’s All for Rock n’ Roll, and Too Much, Too Young.
Airbourne and AC/DC share plenty of similarities, from their backstory to their hard rock style. It should come as no surprise that the O’Keefe brothers cite AC/DC as one of their biggest musical influences.
An English rock band formed in 1975, Motörhead has had an impressive 40-year career – despite the fact that the band has only had one consistent member over the decades: bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister.
Considered by many as a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, Motörhead holds a similar place to AC/DC in rock history as one of the most influential bands of all time. But while AC/DC’s music is typically associated with blues rock and heavy metal, Motörhead’s overwhelmingly loud and fast style often walks the line between punk rock and metal.
Over the decades, Motörhead has released more than 22 studio albums, 10 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and five EPs. Their most popular songs include Killed by Death, Born to Raise Hell, and this classic anthem:
Krokus is a hard rock band from Switzerland. Founded in Solothurn in 1975, the band was started by bassist, keyboard player, and percussionist Chris von Rohr, along with Tommy Kiefer on guitars. Krokus was originally intended to be a progressive rock band, and the group even released three albums in this style during the 70s.
However, after seeing AC/DC in concert, Krokus decided to change their musical direction and adopt a new sound that was heavily influenced by the Australian rock legends. When lead singer Marc Storace joined the band in 1980, Krokus released Metal Rendez-vous, their first hit album which launched them on the global stage. Since then, Krokus has gone on to release 18 albums and plenty of popular rock hits, including Screaming in the Night, Midnite Maniac, and American Woman.
4. The Darkness
Another British rock band featuring a brother duo, The Darkness are most famously known for this epic millennial rock anthem:
Formed in 2000 with members Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain, and Rufus Tiger Taylor, The Darkness resurrected the hard rock sound of the 1970s in the 2000s. They quickly rose to prominence after releasing their first album, Permission to Land, in 2003, which went quadruple platinum in the UK and featured songs such as Love is Only a Feeling and Get Your Hands Off My Woman.
Unsurprisingly, The Darkness was heavily influenced by AC/DC. Lead singer Justin Hawkins said the band changed his life, and cites AC/DC’s early albums as some of his favorites. Although The Darkness quickly fell out of the public eye, their music is still worth a listen for any AC/DC fan.
5. Rhino Bucket
Quite possibly the best band name ever, Rhino Bucket was formed by Georg Dolivo, Reeve Downes, and Greg Fields in 1988. A hard rock band hailing from Los Angeles, California, Rhino Bucket released their first self-titled album in 1990, which featured songs like this one:
If you’re after a band that sounds almost exactly like AC/DC, Rhino Bucket is a must-listen. On top of being influenced by AC/DC’s early years, one of the band members was former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, who rocked out with the band from 1993 to 2012.
During Rhino Bucket’s career, the band saw some success in the UK and Europe, but struggled to make it big on home soil. However, their song Ride with Yourself was featured on the popular Mike Myers movie Wayne’s World in 2002.
Rhino Bucket released their last studio album, The Last Real Rock N’ Roll, in 2017 before the band officially disbanded one year later. However, with seven-albums to their name, there’s plenty of listening material to rock out to, from songs like The Hardest Town to Don’t Bring Her Down.
Whether it’s AC/DC’s contemporaries from the late 70s and 80s to modern rock groups, there’s no doubt that AC/DC’s influence can be found everywhere in the rock and metal genre. And the best part is the band is still going strong after almost four decades – rock on. RIP Malcolm, we salute you.