CULTURE Two Sevens Clash (17 North Parade)

 “Two Sevens Clash” is the 1977 debut album by Jamaican roots reggae trio Culture. Its title is derived from Marcus Garvey’s prediction that there would be chaos on 7 July 1977, when the sevens clashed, causing many Jamaican schools and businesses to close for the day to avoid the prophesised mither.

Despite being sprung from such visions of gloom and foreboding, “Two Sevens Clash” is actually quite a bright and upbeat album. Most of its ten tracks are irresistibly warm-hearted, built on intricate harmonies, indomitable rhythms and perky keyboard riffs, the album’s biblical, apocalyptic themes frequently sweetened by playful melodies. “I’m Not Ashamed” turns The Delfonics’ “La-La Means I Love You” inside out to praise Jah, and “Get Ready To Ride The Lion To Zion” models some delightfully tacky lion’s roars. 

Pressed on a sliver of vinyl that’s almost as floppy as the thin cardboard sleeve it arrives in, audiophile values and collector baiting don’t really apply here and would probably fail the interview if they did. Rough sounding and cheaply presented, “Two Sevens Clash” is resolutely determined not to make an icon of itself, perhaps for the best.