Released November 7, 2011 (Listenable Records)
CD Track List:
01. High Decibels
02. (Gotta Go) Gotta Hit The Road
03. Are You Ready For Rock’N Roll?
04. Let’s Beat It Up
05. Back Door Man
06. Give Me A Dollar
07. This Girl Is On Fire
08. Melting In A Spoon
09. Since You’ve Been Gone
10. Promised Land
11. Things You Can’t Talk About
Armand Valeta – vocals and guitar
LG Valeta – lead guitar
Mr. Raw – bass
Johnnie Dolphin – drums
Produced by Nicke Andersson.
By 1977 AC/DC was becoming a force to be reckoned with internationally, but few at the time would have predicted the heights the Aussie boys with a pocketful of guitar chords would eventually achieve. Not only has AC/DC become a household name, one of the most successful bands in hard rock history, and instantly recognizable — they have also spawned countless clones who have tried to capture the legend’s early magic. Groups such as Rhino Bucket and Airbourne have carved out successful careers by resurrecting three-chord riffs — and you can throw Spain’s ’77 into the mix.
Following the path set out on their 2009 debut album 21st Century Rock, ’77 stick to a proven formula — that being AC/DC riffs, Bon Scott inspired vocals, and a collection of intensity driven rock songs. If you played the title-track to an AC/DC fan and claimed it was a long lost recording from the band the listener would not only believe you, but also be in awe — the song is that good. It just begs to played at full volume, with its furious guitar work and gang vocal chorus, until the ringing in your ears becomes unbearable. “(Gotta Go) Gotta Hit The Road” could easily be ’77‘s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer”, “Since You’ve Been Gone” occasionally slips into “Ride On” territory, and “Things You Can’t Talk About” thumps along like “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting To Be A Millionaire)” — you get the drift.
The only time ’77 lose me on this satisfying (if predictable) release is during “Promised Land” which, at over eight minutes long, sounds like too many ideas rolled into one — some of them work (such as the lyric “We’re 77 and we’re ready for rock ‘n’ roll) while others miss the mark. Even though they are more laid-back than then the aggressive Airbourne, with the proper promotion ’77 could easily fill the same niche that they have in recent years.
You may be asking yourself if there is anything original about ’77 — and the honest answer would be, no, nothing at all. But personally I’m not hung up on originality — if the music moves you, makes your head bob and your foot stomp, and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end it has accomplished what it set out to do… and several times on High Decibels ’77 check all those boxes. Besides, copying someone is one thing, but doing it as convincingly as this is something completely different. Who cares if this album is a rehash of a sound that was fresh was back in the late ’70s, back when guitars ruled and a nasty attitude was abundant — it is the sound of energy and unpretentious hard rock.
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Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, December 2011