Few records have been played so heavily by me over the years as Counting Crows debut album August And Everything After. It’s got to be in my top five most heavily hammered albums of all time.
Round Here is everything I love about the band right there in the opening number. It’s probably everything the bands many detractors hate about them too.
It’s overly earnest, it’s a slow build of poetic metaphors and atmospheric guitars. It’s heart on sleeve emotional and it has big ideas about the minutia of feelings.
In their first flush people lumped Counting Crows in with the mid nineties American rock explosion known as grunge. In hindsight they’ve got more in common with some of the touring giants who have survived the 60’s and 70’s. Counting Crows are heirs to that era’s tour that never ends type carnival of bearded musos and extended family of other bands.
Adam Duritz the bands lead singer and lyricist has a way with words. In my not so humble opinion he’s one of the best lyricists of his generation. The band are a mighty proposition. Dexterous and as steeped in the traditional music of their country as they are in rock and roll tropes. So there’s folk in counting crows, there’s the jam band sound of The Dead and of The Band and a fair whack of early E Street in there too.
This band can sell out a festival field without a record to promote or the music press behind them. They move behind the scenes of what’s trending or what’s considered classic. Counting Crows are a band for people who live for rock music. Not fans who are into one cool scene. The same people who would go and see The Heartbreakers, Rival Sons or Eli Reed on any given night. People who never stopped buying their music on hard copy and who name their kids after songs. People who count festivals as summer holidays and have only leather jackets and jeans in their wardrobes.
You know, people like us.