The Seventy Sevens - The Seventy Sevens: Pray Naked

Tuesday 1st June 1993
The Seventy Sevens - The Seventy Sevens: Pray Naked
The Seventy Sevens - The Seventy Sevens: Pray Naked

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Brainstorm 7100533678

Reviewed by James Lewis

This album has been causing a bit of controversy over the pond, where the original title has been removed and the erstwhile title track has been blanked out on the track listing (although they have left the cover picture of three Maharishi lookalikes covering their dignity with a picture of the band!). So is this the Christian equivalent of Prince's notorious 'Black Album'? Hardly. "Pray Naked" is either a call for naturists to have a spiritual life or an exhortation for us to be honest before God in our prayer life. Anyone who doesn't want a safe version of a secular band should start here - pigeonholing this group is nigh impossible, although they are probably best described as a mainstream band with alternative leanings. The band have grown their hair to mosh length and the first track, "Woody" (a tribute to the Cheers barman, perhaps?!) is probably their heaviest to date. But thereafter the album settles back into a much quieter vein, recalling the tone of previous songs such as "Nowhere Else" and the '7 & 7 Is' tracks contained on the 'Stick And Stones' compilation. "Nuts For You" is the son of "U U U U" if ever there was one, and the (ex)title track begins with an extended jam with a heavy Indian influence (Bengali not Apache). Personal faves are "Woody" and "Self Made Trap". On the first listen I didn't know quite what to make of this album, but on subsequent plays it has wriggled into my brain and looks set to become one of my personal albums of 1993 even with over half a year of releases still to come. Mike Roe's wry sense of humour is ever-present, the opening lines of the album are "I'm staring headlong into the Jaws of Death (alright)/Big teeth, big mouth and bad, bad breath (yecch)", and his levity is a welcome change. The bad news is that to get hold of this you'll have to either make a special order from Word Record Club or visit your favourite record shop in Soho as Word don't intend at the moment to distribute it over here. Write a petition to them and then buy this.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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