It’s hard to imagine ’77 being serious when they titled their album ‘21st Century Rock’ for, despite the benefits of modern production techniques, this is resolutely and unashamedly classic rock, with bags of attitude and a flair for song-writing. Cool as f*** it is, 21st century it ain’t!
Opening with ‘gimme rock n’ roll’ ’77 wear their old school tag with pride, coming across like AC/DC crossed with vintage Rolling Stones, and while it isn’t exactly original, it’s pulled off with panache and it’s almost impossible to stop your toes from tapping once the beat captures you. Hardworking liar is much in the same vein, subtly over-driven guitar with an irresistible groove and pounding drums with cooler-than-thou vocals and gang choruses. Winning the award for most amusing title, ‘big smoker pig’ is a slice of traditional rock made for driving down open highways to, while ‘shake it up’ is a stop-start affair that drags those Stones comparisons to the fore.
Like many of the great bands from the seventies and eighties, ’77 are a band for whom rock is the raison d’etre – indeed of the ten songs on offer here, four feature the word ‘rock’ in the title and the guitarists indulge in the sort of cool writhing riffs that just never seem to die, while their singer (Armand Valeta) sounds eerily like the late Bon Scott, whcih is no bad thing. Quite simply it’s impossible not to like ’77 because they clearly have such a passion for what they do and they do it damned well. Nonetheless it’s an inescapable fact that it’s not terribly original, so while this is an excellent example of its type it does nothing to break the boundaries, but then maybe that’s the point.
If you like old school Rock (with a capital R) and you dig AC/DC, the Stones and Aerosmith (and with the vast popularity of Airbourne there is good reason to suspect that many of you do) then you’re going to enjoy ’77, a band who are the perfect soundtrack to summer BBQs, a few beers with your mates and are undoubtedly a riot live. Well worth checking out.