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Album Review: Hold On To Your Heart by The Xcerts

Scottish alt rock act The Xcerts release their fourth album Hold On To Your Heart on 19th January via Raygun Records. This is the album that will catapult the band into the rock mainstream, each of the ten tracks act as individual masterclasses in pop rock. Infectious and insatiable, this is an album that you’ll have on repeat and fall in love with right from your first listen.

There’s something special about Hold On To Your Heart. It’s nothing mysterious, rather it’s plainly obvious, it is the band’s ability to marry contemporary alt rock with the classic pop rock of Springsteen and Petty. As frontman Murray Macleod says, “The mantra in the studio was we wanted it to feel classic but have a modern twist, which is not an easy feat to pull off. We wanted people to listen to the record and just think anything’s possible; we were trying to capture the ending of (seminal 1985 John Hughes movie) The Breakfast Club. It’s about that feeling of wanting to be outside and experiencing life; don’t sit in your house looking at the girl on Facebook, go get the girl!”

The album stands out from the band’s previous output by being unashamedly pop rock. Where the first two albums fell into indie rock territory, 2014’s There Is Only You pushed them towards the mainstream and Hold On To Your Heart firmly places in the upper echelons of the rock mainstream. The Xcerts are a stronger and more formidable band due to the movement. The album displays their strength in being able to blend the cathartic with the anthemic, the heartbreak with the new love and the darkness with the passion and euphoria. “I am someone who romanticises pretty much everything and anything” Macleod admits “but I also wanted it to be something pure, real and honest. We want to make people feel like anything is possible whilst listening to this record.”

We could go into detail and praise every track on the album but that’d be boring. You’ll already know how immediate and infectious the singles are (stream them below) and the rest of album follows suit with the sax of ‘Drive Me Wild’ and ‘We Are Gonna Live’ being highlights alongside the fragile and emotional ‘Show Me Beautiful’ and powerful ‘First Kiss’.

We’ll leave you with some trivia, each band member features on the front of the artwork for each album they have released. Drummer, Tom Heron is on the cover of 2009’s In The Cold Wind We Smile, Scatterbrain features bassist Jordan Smith on the cover and Murray Macleod appears on There Is Only You, so it’s no surprise they’re all on the front of this one.

AD Rating 8.5/10


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