Album: There Is Only You
Release Date: 2/11/14
Label: Raygun Records
Scottish rockers The Xcerts have been rather quiet on the UK scene for the past few years. With a couple releases to their name and an almost ‘underground’ fan base, the trio are finally trying to make their way into the limelight and stamp their name wherever they can. It’s been three years since their last album and such was the buzz around new album There Is Only You, we were excited to hear what all the fuss has been about of late.
Opening the record is ‘2.12.12’, and it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music we have heard all year. An incredible intro with poignant and powerful strings over the top of a gently strummed and plucked acoustic guitar. ‘Live Like This’ then explodes and an instant comparison to fellow Scottish band Twin Atlantic forms in your mind, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The track itself is absolutely outstanding, it sounds huge with its melodies and hooks being the form of attack here as vocalist Murray Macleod changes from vocal powerhouse to a gentle and subdued man all in the form of three and a half minutes. ‘Shaking In The Water’ has been plastered all over Radio One the past couple months and definitely warrants the daytime airplay. The music is fairly simplistic and straight forward but once again the band utilise Murray’s vocals and his clever writing to write another cut of delicious pop rock.
‘Kick It’ changes pace and rhythm throughout the song, as the verses are a mid tempo and quiet affair, but then the choruses surge through to elevate the track to dizzying heights. The vocal pattern used in the chorus will be stuck in your head for days, another simple yet brilliant effort. This is also an album chock full of meaningful and vulnerable lyrics like on ‘I Don’t Care’, “I don’t care no more, I don’t care no more, if you’ve something to say then just say it, just say it” being an easily accessible line to a lot of people. ‘Kevin Costner’ starts off in a sombre and sobering fashion that turns the mood of the record and slows it down as well. “If love is warm then why am I so cold?” coming out of the speakers front and centre to resonate with the listener in a haunting fashion. ‘Teenage Lust’ picks up the tempo and sounds like a Biffy Clyro b-side. “I’ll find love in the back of a car, your teenage lust didn’t get you too far” will transport you back to your teenage days, but by the tone of Murray’s voice not everything is okay by the sounds of “My teenage lust still haunts me now”.
‘Pop Song’ features possibly the most clever lyrics of the year and is another song that was released early to high praise and acclaim. ‘Kids on Drugs’ sounds like an early Noughties rock song and is a refreshing addition to the album. ‘She’ follows a similar formula and tone to the rest of the album and is possibly overshadowed by the final track on the album, the title track. ‘There Is Only You’ is an incredible piece of music. Piano led and soft vocals make up the majority of this ending and is quite simply, staggering. It flows and comes together perfectly and harnesses the hurt and delicacy in Murrays vocals. “We must sink before we float” is sung in a dreamy and floating manner, and just when you think the track is about to fade out a distorted guitar comes to life and the band built into something extraordinary. Picking up the pace one last time from a band who aren’t done just yet to create another dynamic and layer to this already epically powerful and mesmerising finale with the song title being screamed over and over again to hit us like a ton of bricks. Here’s to one of the best UK albums of the year, an album that will skyrocket The Xcerts popularity into new uncharted territory.