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Seven and Counting - Tonight (Twenty Twenty Records)

22 April 2024

Like most of the bands that last, the ones that circumnavigate fad and fashion, those who seem to be above such mundane things as adhering to genre or expectation or following the sonic party line, Seven and Counting is a band that doesn’t fit into neat boxes or suffers labels. It is a common factor of all those artists whose careers endure that they either ignore such restraints, create their signature sound or shift amongst and beyond the sonic tribes as the mood takes them. These are all things you can see, or should that be hear, happening with Tonight, the debut studio album from the band.

Because they are astute enough to follow in the footsteps of such seminal bands, there are some lovely echoes and tips of the hat going on. Now, I’m not for one moment suggesting that they have plundered or plagiarised or what has gone before, or even that they are nostalgic for the sake of it—far from it—but you can certainly hear grooves and moves reminiscent of some of the greats.

“Back In Your Arms” has touches of early Springsteen, that same blend of romance and idealism he had before the fixation with cars and girls and factories fully took hold. (Ohh, subtle reference on the album cover!)“Good Times Rockin’” is the sound of Tom Petty and the boys had they remained a southern bar band and “I Promise” has a wonderful touch of Roy Orbison about it.

And throughout, such is the upbeat and animated sense of good time R&B floating in the air that you get the feeling that Southside Johnny of Asbury Jukes notoriety is going to jump up and make a guest appearance at any time. And that tells you everything you need to know about how fun and frantic, infectious and engaging, not to mention built of timeless vibes and cool traditions, this band, and indeed this album is.