‘HE SITS IN A ROOM FOR FIVE HOURS WITH WHITE NOISE'
The name may be questionable but the songs are as sublime an example of rock as you'll hear. Suzanne Black embraces the overwrought magic of The Xcerts
hree boys t‘rom Aberdeen and lixeter are
making a name for themselyes among the
throng of new bands otit there. and that name is The .\’certs. The culmination ot' years ol’ hard work for Murray .\Iacl.eod. .Iordan Smith and Tom Heron (who barely grace their 30s) is the release ot' the album. In I/lt' ('oli/ Wind it? Smile. a debut rife with reasons to elevate this trio above the myriad contenders for your new t‘avouritc band.
.‘\ccording to bassist Smith. the title rel‘lects liying through hardships in the band‘s liyes over the past year. personal tragedies and that universal kicker. heartbreak. yet the melodies and .\Iacl.eod‘s impassioned. heavily accented vocals are sweet enough to undercut the gloom. Think teenage angst and contusion shored up by a .\Iogwai-e.st|ue guitar landscape and an able pop sensibility.
In creating such a layered. yoluminotis sound from a three-piece. acclaimed producer Dave liringa was instrumental. .\Iacl.eod explains the process:
'He gets it. He gets what we‘re trying to do. He‘s worked with Idlewild and the Manics ~ big guitar sounds and big drums are his thing. He sits in a room for live hours with the white noise cranked tip with six or seven amps and headphones so lotid to get the perfect t‘reguency.‘
‘It's top secret.‘ is all Heron (token non-Scottish member) will reveal about that perfect frequency.
With all this studied heaviosity combined with melodic books. the band eschew the current vogue for 80s dayglo. synths and irony. preferring a more direct route into the hearts ol‘ listeners without angling for
62 THE LIST Betti Mai 3009
the calculated heart—tugging moments. .\lacl.eod insists: ‘I don‘t think anyone writes lyrics thinking ot' a mass crowd sing-a-long. When I'm
jotting them down in a book in my room I‘m thinkng just about me. the people in them and these guy s.‘
‘That's the Inn thing about lining a band.‘ agrees Heron. 'taking all those really personal things they sing about into your own lite".
But it‘s not all tempestuous youthl'ul emotions. The Xcerts have a prolessional attitude to the music business. approaching the band like a job. They take the same approach to tottring. supplies Smith:
“C bad 1"“ ”th‘Hial 'band on tour" mentalit} at lirst. You get given alcohol tor tree and party e\ cry night which lasts t'or about three days. three seriously hungover days. We can‘t do that.‘
Rather than naive dreams ot' rock‘n'roll success. it‘s the business ot' music-making that driyes them. Alter touring extensively around the PK last year steadily building a tan base the band haye already started ratcheting up l'estiyal appearances tor ‘0‘). But bet'ore that there‘s the small matter ot‘ the launch ot' new single '(‘risis in the Slow l.ane' and the album. which arrives at the end ot' the month.
But what about this name the world w ill be hearing'.’
‘lt doesn‘t mean anything.’ laughs .\Iacl-eod. “We chose it when we were 14. Your band name gets better as the band gets better. ['2 is a shit name. worse than The Xcerts. but it. you're the biggest band in the world no one's going to question it.‘
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