The XCERTS love to leave you guessing and during Hold On To Your Heart, their fourth album, the UK natives do just that song after song. Anthem after anthem. Jam after jam. Get where we’re going with this?
Take opener “The Dark” as a perfect example. It’s all swoony and croony, creating a certain kind of vibe and expectation of how this will all play out as the album unfolds and then BAM! “Daydream” crashes in and it’s just this glorious rawker of a song in the vein of some of Bryan Adams best ’80’s singles with Jordan Smith’s bass resounding throughout. Similarly, “Feel Like Falling In Love” carries over the Adams with a start/stop piano-driven ditty that brings to mind driving around in the summer with the top down and singing along to the radio as loud as possible.
“First Kiss Feeling” has an earnest delivery by Murray Macleod hitting all the right vocal quivers, dragging listeners deeper into the song as his guitars wail like a lost Flickerstick gem. “Crazy” just glistens as Macleod’s shimmering guitars accent another heartfelt delivery with Tom Heron providing a driving foundation behind the kit.
“Drive Me Wild” has this great Clarence Clemons-style saxophone line and goes on to sound like Tom Petty mixed with what Razorlight was trying to do at the beginning with a little INXS Pop thrown in for good measure. Later on, “We Are Gonna Live” is one of those deja vu songs where it’s so perfect that you swear you’ve already heard it somewhere else before. Familiarity aside, the track is another example of how far The XCERTS has come with their strong songwriting on an album that continually exudes excellence in that department.
“Show Me Beautiful” might stand out because it’s the first track since “The Dark” that doesn’t go to 11. And that’s not a knock! The song just proves that The XCERTS can be just as potent when they get quiet, introspective, and mid-tempo as when the band push it to the limit. Rounding out Hold On… with grand closer “Cry”, the band get even more introspective with this somber track that ends with another glorious sax that’s like a slowed-down ode to the conclusion of INXS’ “Mediate” as Macleod croons, Heron fills, and Smith drives ’em out.
Hold On To Your Heart will be released on January 19th via Raygun Records. Pre-order your very own in a plethora of options by clicking here.