Released: 2012, Listenable Records
Yes, folks we have another AC/DC clone in Spain’s 77. I know, an unlikely country and all, but here it is all the same. HIGH DECIBELS is the band’s second album of hero worship of the Aussie legends. The band describes the album as more “authentic” and you know they mean closer to the original AC/DC sound than the predecessor. Nick “Royale” Andersson is at the helm, a kindred spirit considering his work in The Hellacopters. HIGH DECIBELS reaches back for Bon Scott era AC/DC and their classic run of the 70s and succeeds despite the odds.
Now that the tribute nature of this has been revealed I can safely report that this is high quality stuff. Imagine if Bon had lived, this might have been the next album they released, and really that is high praise. Many bands have mimicked AC/DC, with mixed results, but you can file 77 under the successful acts (which include Jackyl and Kix maybe some Krokus material as well). “Are You Ready For Rock N Roll” poses and answers the age old question with a resounding yes, from its vintage guitar tone to the uncanny channeling of AC/DC’s best rhythmic qualities. The rhythm section of Johnnie Dolphin and Mr. Raw lays down the groove with a more than satisfactory execution, and Armand Valeta might be Bon Scott reincarnated. “Let’s Beat It Up” is another great tune with those patented don’t -give-a-shit backing vocals that AC/DC did better than just about anybody, delivered with a knowing sneer and nod.
Not much else to say about this other than the fact that every song delivers on its promise of “authenticity” even the nearly 9 minute track “Promised Land” which could have benefited from some editing, but still it ain’t bad. Needless to say, if you are a fan of AC/DC and cannot get enough of their style than this is as faithful a representation as you are likely to get. Production is devoted to the original era as well and so in terms of originality; well, there is none. But some bands and a certain era of their sound is so good that they deserve to be imitated indefinitely. Primal Fear decided that PAINKILLER was a good enough album to build a career around, and I am thankful that they did. Odds are that you will be thankful that 77 have kept a bygone, but important era of one of the finest bands ever alive.