EP REVIEW: The Xcerts – So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way

Release Date: January 15th 2021
Label: Raygun Music
Website: www.thexcertsband.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thexcerts
Twitter: www.twitter.com/thexcerts

Rating:

The Xcerts have been at the forefront of Scottish alternative music for the best part of a decade, and, with four albums and several EPs under their belt, they’ve certainly squeezed out some gems in their time.

The latest addition to their impressive back catalogue is ‘So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way’, a four-track collection of covers.

While The Xcerts might have chosen to skip over The Rembrants‘ seminal Friends theme tune that gave this record its title, they have still selected four stellar songs to take on. There’s ‘We Built This City’, one of the cheesiest songs to come out of the 80s (and that’s saying something), ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ by punk icons the Ramones, Avril Lavigne‘s 2002 breakthrough single ‘Complicated’, and ‘Inbetween Days’ by British goth legends, The Cure.

Thank goodness The Xcerts rendition of ‘We Built This City’ is a far cry from the original. Having completely gutted the track, The Xcerts‘ stripped-back version is solemn, slow, and has that soft authenticity that fans have come to expect from the band. This tranquility flows effortlessly into ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’; it’s a song that suits them, naturally, but whether we need something quite this sombre in the middle of what feels like, arguably, the most depressing January ever is still up for debate.

After the mood is momentarily lifted by Heights (the singer/songwriter, not the defunct British hardcore band), whose gorgeous guest vocals in ‘Complicated’ elevate the track to a whole new level, The Xcerts absolutely knock it out of the park with their cover of ‘Inbetween Days’. While it’s probably the closest to the original of all the tracks featured on the EP, The Xcerts breathe new life into the track with a shift in tempo that the record was crying out for. It’s the perfect choice and ends the EP on a much needed high.

The Xcerts have delivered cool, collected, and considered records time and time again throughout their career, and ‘So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way’ is no different. The only downside is that they happen to have released one of their gloomiest during a time when we could probably all do with the exact opposite.