The 71's: Harder, Louder, More Alive Than Ever

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Rocks Off has been covering The 71s since pretty much the first day we worked here, when a slight attention-span problem ended up obligating us to attend a Christian rock concert at which we somehow had a massively fun time. Since then, we've watched the group grow, invade a Walmart, get signed, tour, play a private show for Pedobear, and unleash a stream of EPs that epitomize all that is good and holy in modern pop-rock.

So it may come as a surprise to you, excellent rock enthusiasts, that Rocks Off is eagerly awaiting the day we can turn on the band like Judas. We've been here since the beginning, and are relishing that upcoming pissy, hipster moment when the 71's release an album that is so accessible, bankable, and ultimately successful that we'll be able to point fingers and scream how they've sold out. It will be wonderful.

But see, for that to happen the album has to kind of suck. It has to be watered down to a low common denominator because if the modern music industry has taught us anything, it is that most of the populace can't take a shot of brilliance without a pinch of mediocrity to cut it. The new 71s album is undiluted, and our evil stratagem must wait. Curses.

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Rock and Roll Reaction vol. 2 is (obviously) the second part of the 71's trilogy. We were supposed to see it months ago, but the release was put on hold once the band got an indie record deal and decided to up their exposure with a pretty impressive tour of the state. Well worth the wait, vol. 2 continues to shock and amaze as the band turns the amp to 11 and keeps turning until the knob breaks.

It's been amazing to see them grow from a more light-hearted college-rock sound into something more along the lines of Endeverafter. It's the sound of a party now. A good party, the kind you better be damn grateful if you're invited. We got a taste of that when we saw the video for "Get Up and Dance," which set our palate for the feast of noise that makes up the EP.

One of the things we've always liked about the 71's is the way they just flow without pretention. Their sincerity was the thing that drew us to them back when they were mostly playing church gigs. The music is dirtier now, more in tune with the tunes a band on the road plays, and the swagger of the group has become very pronounced.

"What are you saying,With One F?" you ask. "Has another group of devout young men succumbed to the sins of the music industry?' Maybe. Maybe not. We take no position on the matter. We do know this: The 71's are a group that does not fear the real world, and doth indeed walk trough the valley of the shadow of death like it's a bike path in Memorial Park.

They'll be what they'll be, and if they want to turn up the volume and scream a little they will with no apologies. Prepare to wake your neighbors, because vol. 2 should be played at maximum volume.

We sat down with singer Keeton Coffman to ask him some questions about the album.


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