1977 – Rock ‘N Roll (2008, Play It Again Records, LLC)
- Ladies Come First
- Love Me Blind
- Rock ‘N Roll
- Blast Off
- Straight To The Heart
- Love At first Kiss
- Back In The Groove
- She Wants It All
- Do Ya Know What I Want?
Producers: 1977 & Alexander Coin
Total Time = 33:33
Country: United States
1977 is a KISS influenced band that takes their love of all things KISS into a whole new dimension. At first glance, I thought this was going to be a tribute album but 1977 have thrown me a curveball, it’s an album of original material that sounds very much like KISS did in 1977.
One look at the LOVE GUN cover art (the people are blacked out) and you can see that the band has made sure every detail is in order from the lettering to the custom logos. Instead of Rock Steady Productions, it’s Stock Ready Productions and instead of Casablanca Records, it’s Play It Again Records both with almost exact logos. Instead of Aucoin Management LLC, it’s Acoin Management LLC…..well, you get the idea! These guys have done a great job putting in the small details of the packaging. Even the CD has special details: it looks like a mini-record complete with a Casablanca Records style label and actual grooves that make it feel like vinyl! Very cool!
As for the music…..it’s all original songs that sound almost like the original KISS at the height of their ’70s Rock ‘n Roll success. The band plays in the same way they original band did: the guitarist has Ace Frehley’s tone down better then Tommy Thayer and the bassist has that thumpy simple bass groove that Gene seemed to use on every song. The vocals sound very close to the original band, especially on the Ace tunes, and the harmonies between the Gene & Paul guys are dead on. The songs are constructed with bits and pieces of different songs from the KISS Katalog with totally different lyrics, maybe a phrase or two come from the original tracks. Listen to ‘Ladies Come First’ and you can hear ‘Love Her All I Can’. Listen to ‘Gladiator’ and you can pick out ‘God Of Thunder’. Try ‘She Wants It All’ and you hear ‘Do You Love Me’. The band takes all the parts of the classic songs, mixes them up and come up with something that sounds very KISS but also unique. It almost sounds like a “lost” KISS album or a bunch of unreleased B-sides. Another fun detail 1977 threw in was the “crackles” and “pops” in between each song that sound just like the old vinyl LPs did back in the day. I had ROCK AND ROLL OVER and all four solo albums on vinyl and I remember all those little “pops” from the needle.
So is it a tribute album or original material? It’s both! The songs are familiar like vintage KISS but they have their own musical structure and unique lyrics full of simplicity and innuendo. The real KISS hasn’t done anything new since 1998’s PSYCHO CIRCUS so I’m calling this album the next best thing, it just sounds like KISS! If you’re a KISS diehard, you’ll love it. If you are a casual fan, you might not be able to tell the difference. I hope the guys in 1977 do another album because I’d love to hear them interpret some other years in KISStory because ROCK ‘N ROLL is a really good album.