United in Rivalry
From Northeast In-Tune Magazine: Written by Justin Wollenhaupt 7 & Counting is one of those bands that makes me excited about music again. They're not the type of band I would hear on any of the radio stations I listen to, or that I might run across through any of the channels I use to find out about new artists. But their music is eclectic, energetic, and unique, and it gives me that priceless feeling that there's great stuff still out there just waiting to be discovered. Their style spills over the boundaries between genres, and I hesitate to classify them at the risk of unfairly pigeon-holing their sound. Still, as the purpose of a review is to give you an idea of whether you might dig the artist or not, here goes: 7 & Counting is at heart an acoustic rock band, although there is enough of a country influence that they might most simply be described as country-inflected acoustic rock. But they are really much more than that, adding pop interpolations of a veritable record store full of styles from bossa, Middle Eastern, Celtic, and bluegrass to the occasional fuzzed-out guitar line of acid-rock. The players are accomplished and the group is tight, ably shifting between styles while remaining locked in the mid- and up-tempo grooves they tend to favor. They share the spotlight equitably, resulting in a playful back-and-forth that tastefully avoids the outright silliness of similarly eclectic groups such as Phish. The vocals are straight-forward blues-rock in style, but unadorned with the affectation that often accompanies that style. You could even say the vocals tend toward the plain vanilla, but in the context of modern rock convention, it results in a style that is refreshingly non-derivative. Bottom line: If any of the above piques your interest, I would definitely recommended checking out 7 & Counting. Also recommended to fans of rock/folk/country fusion, adventurous listeners who like their rock varied without getting too heavy, and jam-band fans who are ready to take their game to the next level. I personally listen to a lot more hip hop, funk, and psych rock than modern acoustic rock, but these cats have earned a coveted spot in my car's CD book as the perfect accompaniment to a sunny summer drive in the country.