The Xcerts – Scatterbrain
After long-awaited debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile proved an undeniably impressive collection of stadium-baiting, grunge-tinged hard rock, there’s little denying that when it came to crafting a follow-up, Aberdeen / Exeter-based three piece The Xcerts had an added weight of expectation on their shoulders. Of course, heading into the studio with veteran producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Straylight Run, Crime In Stereo) did little to help the situation, and it’s to their credit that with new album Scatterbrain, they’ve managed to push themselves into darker territories, while still retaining the anthemic quality that made them so appealing in the first place.
In spite of Scatterbrain being comfortably more experimental than its predecessor, it’s arguable that The Xcerts’ simplest output is still their best. Prime examples here are the straight-shooting, visceral ‘Slackerpop’ and undeniable high-point ‘Distant Memory’, which openly embraces their trademark epic, big-hearted melodies with spectacular results. Their chorus-writing ability is also utterly unwavering – look no further than ‘Carnival Time’ and recent single ‘Young (Belane)’ for proof of that.
While it occasionally veers into Brand New-influenced identity crisis – see the ‘Vices’-esque title track for more details – and closer ‘Lament’ ends proceedings on a comparatively average note, Scatterbrain still stands to serve The Xcerts well as the current flurry of press attention heading their way continues to accumulate. It’s an impressively consistent sophomore release, and provided they can keep a tight grip on their individuality, you can’t help but feel there’s a great deal still to come here.The Xcerts - Scatterbrain,