The Xcerts – ‘Live Like This’

By Punktastic

With The Xcerts’ phenomenal album ‘There Is Only You’ now over a year old, the band keep the dream going with a selection of off-cuts and demo tapes, lead by the excellent album track and should-have-been-single, ‘Live Like This’. A favourite among fans and Alex Bakers, ‘Live Like This’ springs to life quickly with a verse that could easily be a chorus and a chorus that could easily be the best thing we can’t believe you haven’t heard this past year.

Recorded for ‘There Is Only You’, ‘Bored’ opens snappily and keeps the energy going throughout. Lyrically the song expands on the album nicely, adding a welcome dimension to singer Murray Macleod’s story. It would have been a worthy addition to ‘There Is Only You’ were it not for the long outro, which would have stood out as uncharacteristic and unnecessary on an otherwise lean offering. However, fun is had in the closing section with layered drums pushing along an upbeat, Motion City-esque guitar line.

‘Heaven’, according to the band’s Facebook page “… was so close to making the record but we decided against it at the very last minute. I think we felt like the record would be one song too long if it were to make the cut. Dave Eringa who produced the record undoubtedly still believes we are idiots for not featuring this on the album as he really digs it.” The chorus is massive and leaves you wanting more the first time it’s heard. As it repeats later, it sneakily omits a bar or two, keeping the vocal hook flowing really nicely, without making the casual listener think too hard. Dave was right on this one.

The demo version of ‘Kids On Drugs’ is an utterly different beast to that heard on the album. The lyrics come at you a little quicker in the verses, and the chorus rhythm, whilst interesting, takes a moment to settle in the mind, making it less immediate. Give it another listen though and you’ll find its charm, especially if you are an avid fan that enjoys piecing together a song’s development. The closing riff is a big one and, unlike that of ‘Bored’ doesn’t linger too long and will make you wish that it had been bolted on to the end of the album version.

Sometimes when you hear the start of a song it reminds you entirely of something else. The simple, chugging guitar line that opens ‘Waste Away’ does exactly that, namely Queen Of The Stone Age. Then the vocal comes in and you remember that this is definitely an Xcerts tune. The band have had this one knocking around since ‘Scatterbrain’ yet it’s failed to make the cut on either that album or it’s follow up. It has the feeling of being bolted together from snippets of ideas intended to sound like Nirvana, Weezer and the aforementioned QOTSA, all falling just short of lifting the vibe to the standard that one might presume The Xcerts would be happy with on an album.

‘Live Like This’ serves well to fill the void for the ardent superfans that eagerly await the next album. Those with whom the lyrical content of ‘There Is Only You’ particularly resonate will appreciate the chance to delve a little bit deeper into their own misery (in the best way possible). For those looking to really get into The Xcerts our recommendation is to break up with your partner and start with ‘There Is Only You’. But when it really sticks, which it will, it’ll be time to give this EP a go.

IAIN GORRIE

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