For the first minute of The Xcerts third album, you’d be forgiven for think you were listening to a drizzly photomontage on an episode of Midsomer Murders. Besides that, the opening track to There Is Only You is an exceptional song. A little bit like if Biffy Clyro went pop-punk, ‘Live Like This’ is an invigorating and contagiously get up and go track which recovers the album from its funeral march opening.

Whilst the first part of this album has a huge stadium feel, it takes about three tracks before the whole thing collapses into a murky swill of lyrically unsubstantial same old same old love songs. There are only so many minutes an album can spare on self-pitying loneliness.  Where before the guitars were at the forefront of The Xcerts musical armada, by the end of the album the mid to latter sections see the once powerful guitars completely lose there impact, drifting off like abandoned life boats.

The worst thing about this album is that it isn’t actually bad at all. The music isn’t offensively bad; in fact the whole thing is perfectly listenable. What’s bad about There Is Only You is that it does absolutely nothing to keep your attention beyond the first few songs. No one track is especially differentiable from any other.

Once an album turns sour as early on as this one does, there’s pretty much no saving it. The closing few songs do seem to at least make an effort to reengage you, but not with any real conviction. In fact the closing track is potentially as out of place and depressing as the creepy little intro. It’s a five minute song, and it takes four whole minutes to get good. Think about that for a second.

The Xcerts certainly have a few neat tricks up their sleeves, but for a band now on their third album, you can’t help but be disappointed they didn’t put out something a little more gripping. There Is Only You is just fantastically underwhelming.

Callum Cornwell



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