Originally a Spanish AC/DC tribute outfit, 77 have long since dropped the 'DC covers but have retained that very distinctive Gibson driven boogie sound. Recorded live in the studio, 'High Decibels' is 77's second album and carries on from where their competent debut left off.
Its groove is unashamedly that of classic early Bon era 'DC and even the production has a raw edged Vanda and Young quality about it. Notables include 'Promised Land', 'Gimme A Dollar', 'High Decibels', '(Gotta Go) Gotta Hit The Road', 'Meltin' In A Spoon' and 'Things You Can't Talk About' that all deserve your ear as you cruise on down that long straight highway to hell. But any of the tracks on this album are satisfying lumps of relentless boogie that skilfully walk the fine line between enthusiastic flattery and blatant cloning.
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You will almost certainly be able to peg a 'DC song on any track from 'High Decibels' but that is understandable given the tight musical focus 77 have opted to take. Originality is not its strong point but that is not the issue here, it's all about the groove and 'High Decibels' has that by the ton.
The only thing lacking is an absolutely killer song. The album comes close but the overall tendency is to teasingly finger your knicker line rather than rip the damn things off. I suspect time and experience will provide the remedy but as it is 77 sounds as if they are still working hard doing what most Australian outfits shit on demand so although 'High Decibels' may be a very good neighbour baiter, it just is not a great one.
On saying that, there are not too many original bands doing this sort of boogie bluster stuff at the moment and 77 make a refreshing change from the plague of tribute acts that currently curse the gig circuit.
If you live with the forlorn hope of finding something new then 'High Decibels' will not spin your wheels. On the other hand if you appreciate the muscular simplicity and grunt of Australian boogie then this should get you dusting off that cupboard bound cherry red air SG Special.