The Xcerts: Hold On To Your Heart

review xcerts x1 cong

The Xcerts have been going for years, formed by 13-year-olds Murray Macleod and Jordan Smith in 2001, and have toured with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Fightstar and Taking Back Sunday. They were meant to support Guns N’ Roses but for “logistical reasons” all the support bands were forced to drop off of the tour. This kind of luck is possibly one reason why they’re not much bigger.

The good news is that all that practice means that Macleod and Smith, joined by Tom Heron on drums, are good at what they do: the sound is tight, and it’s all slickly done; they just need to get that piece of luck to crack the larger audience (Congleton’s Kill The Young were the same).

The sound is that full Springsteen-y / US Heartland one favoured by bands like Gaslight Anthem, with an English pop/indie twist. All the songs (well most) have big choruses and are anthemic tunes written to be played by strutting guitarists on a big stage.

An early standout is Feels Like Falling in Love (the songs all seem to be about affairs of the heart) but there are no poor songs, and not much filler. If you like big sounding, melodramatic powerpop/rock, this will more than reward the effort.

If we had a criticism, it would be that the sound does not vary, constantly uptempo and big, but then again, we’ve played it on repeat a number of times and it always stays fresh. We’ve heard their music before, but this new one is a step up.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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