Band name and album title does not hint at but immediately tells you exactly what you are getting into once you climb on board with the new stomp from Spanish rockers 77. Their album Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll is bred, sculpted, and delivered in seventies hard rock revelry but one which offers a fresh take on the nostalgia pushing adventure whilst wearing its inspirational heart on its muscular sleeves. The ten track release is not the fuse to heated blazes in the passions but it certainly romps along with confidence and accomplished mischief to make an encounter which lingering friendship with is a given.
Formed by brothers Armand (vocals and guitar) and LG Valeta (lead guitar), 77 has earned a fine and eagerly offered reputation for their easy to access sounds. With Dolphin (drums) and Raw (bass) completing the line-up, the band release their third album on the back of the acclaimed High Decibels. The new album continues the passion driven creatively instinctive bruisings the band has come renowned for whilst slipping in some new spicery and exploration, though ultimately the Listenable Records released offering feeds expectations rather than avoids them. It is not an album to leave you opened mouthed in awe and surprise but definitely it teases and takes ears on a feisty fun ride, which is always welcomed.
Produced by Fred Estby and Nicke Andersson, Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll lets rip with its title track, the song instantly loading up on the ear with honest unfussy rock riffs and a tempting if familiar hook. The vocals of Armand ‘croon’ in a pleasing if expected style whilst the group clad anthemic chorus soon has the voice joining the already engaged feet in the simple yet infectious opener. It is a song you know before you have heard it but still makes for a satisfying introduction which sets down the template for the upcoming party.
Both the following Don’t You Scream and Down and Dirty continue the eager start, the first with a taunting groove and additional blues kissed teasing from LG around another irresistibly contagious chorus whilst the second gets down on the liquor soaked blues floor and slowly, in comparison to its predecessors, singes the senses with continually to impress guitar enterprise, though each expulsion of its invention seems to be over before it and the listener has time to draw breath. The pair hit the spot without dodging assumptions of what is coming but such the craft and passion in their veins it is hard not to enlist in their persuasion.
Highway Rebel passes by next without igniting any real flicker of energy in the passions for an admittedly strongly designed if uneventful presence before handing ears over to the album’s pinnacle. Jazz It Up is a delicious stroll, a track from its first note courting a swagger which has song and band swinging their wares with a wantonness that is pure addiction. The insatiable grooves have hips in their naughty hands throughout whilst the melodic blues toxicity conjured by LG is icing on a very tasty resourceful cake.
The swamp air of Stay Away From Water makes an excellent start to its arrival, a deltas blues essence washing over the ear which leads to a slight disappointment when the song clears its climate to present another clean rock ’n’ roll offering. Into its stride though the track proves itself to be another contagious, tempered charge through happy to accept ears whilst its successors You Bore Me and Take Me or Leave Me create their own equally appealing blues filtered temptations, the first of the two featuring LG on lead vocals. Neither provides anything truly new to get the imagination around but both enslave a healthy appetite and depth of passion for their smouldering suasion. They might not, like the album, have emotions raging but they definitely have strong appreciation swerving with eagerness to the grooves and enterprise offered.
Virtually Good and 16 Year-Old King complete the album, the pair the weakest songs on show yet still able to engage a more than happy to return appetite from thoughts and feelings. Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll gives exactly what it says on the tin and a sound rich for the attention of fans of bands such as AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and Status Quo. 77 is a rock ‘n’ roll band and that is the tall and short of it, an intent which only gives satisfaction.
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