The Xcerts are a very popular band right now. In 2017, they were an opening main stage act at Reading and Leeds and in October they headlined a tour around the UK. Recently, their single Feels Like Falling In Love debuted as Radio 1’s track of the week and has gone on to earn 1.5 million streams on Spotify – so far. Their new album Hold On To Your Heart is due for release on 19th January, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on a copy to review.
The opening track – The Dark – is a beautiful but slow and moving song that sends shivers down my spine with the first listen. Though it leads into the following track well, the final emotionally driven vocals make me think it’s the end of the album and would be well suited for that final raw song that often completes an album.
By the second song, Day Dream, we’re back to classic pop punk with an opening that sounds like it’s from the era of early Blink 182 or Kids In Glass Houses.
Murray has a voice made for pop punk and this album is his – and the entire band’s – masterpiece. The album is described as a “a bold, pure love letter to a bygone era inked by a sentimental hopeless romantic” and it really is. The album is about love, but like typical punk rock, it’s not sad or slow – it’s the kind of album that reminds you of being a teenager in love again. It gives you the feeling that love – and you! – can overcome anything. It’s inspiring and it’s got that beat that makes you want to get up, go outside and do something – anything.
Hold On To Your Heart is also sprinkled with some old school rock too. Drive Me Wild has a real old school 80’s feel to it with the introduction of a trumpet towards the end. I feel like this song could be on the soundtrack to an old 80s movie like Pretty In Pink or Three Men And A Baby.
This is what the band were going for, stating that they wanted the whole album to capture the ending of The Breakfast Club and they achieve this perfectly. Even the album cover reflects this, with the band members kicking high, jumping ecstatically and crouching down to stare at the camera – the passion and inspiration is obvious in their stances.
That said, the whole album has a modern twist too, introducing something new to the classic pop from those days.
Hold On To Your Heart completes with another emotional but still rocking song, Cry. Listening to this, I now release why The Dark opened the album rather then ending it. Cry almost matches it in emotion and vibe, allowing Hold On To Your Heart to come full circle.
Hold On To Your Heart is an all round inspiring album all about love - but will leave you feeling inspired and on a total high.