Overall Score: 9/10 Choruses : 9/10 Vocals: 9/10 Consistency : 9/10 Pros: Not a weak moment | Great choruses | Timeless sound Cons: A bit too short
The Xcerts have been one of the most consistently great UK bands over the past few years but have never quite had that breakthrough moment. There’s no doubting how much they are adored by their fans and they have had plenty of praise in the press but it’s just never translated to a massive audience. Hopefully that is about to change with their latest album Hold On To Your Heart. There has certainly been more of a buzz surrounding this album than anything The Xcerts have done before and the album itself more than justifies this.
Lead single Feels Like Falling In Love perfectly set the tone for what this album was going to be: huge 80’s inspired rock anthems. Comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty feel almost unavoidable when talking about this album because it is so unashamed of wearing its inspirations on its sleeve. That’s not to say the album is stuck in the past, The Xcerts do a very good job of making this classic sound feel at home in 2018. If anything this album has a real timeless sound. The Springsteen influences kick up a whole other level on Drive Me Wild. Featuring the first of two appearences from Black Peaks’ Will Gardner on saxophone. It’s such a fun moment on and ends being the standout track on a album filled with brilliant songs, seriously every song has the potential to be a single.
Lyrically this album is filled with some of the most hopelessly romantic sentiments. With the exception of the opening track The Dark the album is just so optimistic. Murray Macleod is so honest with his delivery of every line that it’s easy for the listener to get caught up in every lyric. His vocals have always been brilliant and things are no different here. There’s so much genuine emotion in everything he does. As a three piece The Xcerts have so much confidence behind everything they do on Hold On To Your Heart and the end result is easily the best collection of songs The Xcerts have released. If there was any criticisms to make it’s that at 10 songs the album is just over too quickly, it feels like it could have done with just one or two more tracks.
Hold On To Your Heart is an album that aims big and absolutely nails it. If this doesn’t result in The Xcerts breaking through the more mainstream side of rock music then nothing will. Songs like Daydream and First Kiss Feeling are too good to not be all over the radio and festival main stages. Hopefully by the end of the year Hold On To Your Heart will be seen as one of the great rock albums of 2018.
Hold On To Your Heart will be released on the 19th of January 2018 through Raygun Records.