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Album Review: The Xcerts - Scatterbrain

The Xcerts' second full-length, 'Scatterbrain' includes its influences as Nirvana and Brand New, two bands that have achieved great cult status. While The Xcerts perhaps don't match this expectation on first listen, they still manage to produce an intriguing record. The title track screeches before bursting with radiance as Murray Macleod Scottish tongue brings a sense of reassurance, whilst a running bassline backs up the bands favourable alt-rock style, something that is continued throughout.

Tracks like 'Gum' and 'Distant Flow' are structured well and have a warm tone that is pleasing and do not alienate the listener. The latter is a atmospheric, calm rock number that leaves you captivated, whilst 'Gum' has a steady pace with a subtle dark tone, with Macleod providing calm vocals. The energised 'Slackerpop' follows next with its chorus being built round "oohs-ohs-ohs" and a tempo that is somewhat catchy that is built round an overall powerful sound. Its one of the highlights of the album.

The band are also willing to slightly experiment, as 'He Sinks. He Sleeps' has winding guitars and subtle effects that provide an eerie and intriguing atmosphere. 'Hurt With Me' turns out in a similar fashion, as slightly echoed guitars provide a cold, intense sound. Whilst its structure once again leaves you interested, and Tom Heron's superb drum work thrives on the bands energy and craftsmanship. The incredibly calming 'Lament' draws the listener in delicately, with simple atmospheric guitar strums and Macleod's relaxed vocals being the focal point. Whilst the track hints of escaping from its quiet setting, the band sensibly close the album with a haunted feeling. However the band do also show a hint of having a pop sensibility with 'Carnival Time' and 'Young Blame', as both have a thriving exuberance.

'Scatterbrain' proves to be a warming, uplifting record that sees a band that have progressed, as well the occasional ability to experiment with the usual alt-rock style. It must be credited that the production work of Mike Sapone (Brand New, Crime In Stereo) has added to the bands dynamic sound and have brought out the best if them, as they now have a sound that is captivating and exciting. In addition the records structure has to be highlighted, as it is incredibly laid out well as the bands quiet-loud-quiet style is pulled off well here. The Xcerts have exceeded their potential here, as 'Scatterbrain' is a concise work that leaves you excited for the bands future.


'Scatterbrain' by The Xcerts is available now on Xtra Mile Records.

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Sean Reid

Alter The Press!