'77 - 'Bright Gloom'

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'77 - 'Bright Gloom'

The recording process used on 'Bright Gloom' is lifted straight from the seventies, opting for the old-school analogue 24 to 2 track tape method.

Sometimes a band name can be seemingly innocuous, but actually very descriptive about an artist's music. This is the case with '77, where their whole ethos transports you back to the heyday of Hard Rock. The recording process used on 'Bright Gloom' is lifted straight from the seventies, opting for the old-school analogue 24 to 2 track tape method. Even the album cover pays homage to that same era, but let's be clear here, this quartet have not sacrificed quality in the pursuit of art, as these guys are perfectionists in their craft.

This eleven track outing keeps to the promise of the album title by pulling together sings which sit in both the light and dark spectrums. 'Bread & Circus' is a prime example, where the Ozzy-esque dark vocal sits over a heavy but interesting background, pulling on influences from Status Quo, AC/DC and Black Sabbath. 'Hands Up', meanwhile, has a thick melodic pattern, bringing in elements of early Rush. 'Who's Fighting Who' brings in another blend of familiar inspirations with an intro that reeks of evil Sabbath, then merges with a trippy, space effect-laden Hawkwind style jam that then reverts back to its sinister beginnings.

These guys from Barcelona clearly love a good Classic Rock groove, and 'Be Crucified' strips everything back to basics, and is a straight-ahead head-banger of a tune. 'It's Near' also sits comfortably in this camp. 'You Better Watch Out' continues the classic feel, and has an early Kiss vibe with a distorted vocal tone. 'Where Have They Gone' however, promises greatness with a slow start, which ebbs into a Rock-Boogie, but falls short and fails to really deliver. It's not long before we are back in the '77 comfort zone of AC/DC bad-boy-boogie in 'Last Chance'. Conversely, 'I Want My Money Back' oozes originality without going too far off piste, and as a result is a stimulating track. Album closer, 'Make Up Your Mind' is perhaps a step too far in this slightly Punk(ish)/ Rockabilly crossover.

For many, the end of the seventies was a blessed relief, for others (especially those who didn't live through it), it's seen as somewhat of a musical nirvana. '77 clearly fall into the latter category, and whilst the tracks here do reflect the flavour of that time period, I can't help but wonder if it has also stifled their writing creativity somewhat.

Paul Sabin

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