The Xcerts - Scatterbrain
Typically, a 'Scatterbrain' is a person who is illogical, makes no sense and is forgetful; quite a fitting title for the latest album from The Xcerts. It is an album which starts very noisily and very heavily, and it is evident these songs were written to be played loud!
With influences of Nirvana and Brand New it is evident that this is a pure rock record and a good one at that; however it does not quite match up to such a legendary status, but this is irrelevant really as judged against their previous albums, this is a brilliant album from The Xcerts.
The energised 'Slackerpop' is a song with a catchy tempo with its chorus being built round "oohs-ohs-ohs" and is definitely a good feeling song. Front man Murray Macleod has always had distinctive vocals and on 'Scatterbrain' they go to a whole new level, a rather screaming level at that; most prominently in 'Gum' and also the title track where the punk-like music is highlighted with his loud intense vocals. This is then greatly contrasted with the lovely tunes of 'He sinks, He sleeps' and the closing song, 'Lament'. There is a general experimental feel to the album too as each song differs from the other and there is a changing guitar sounds and use of drum beats which arguably The Xcerts would not have reached out to on their previous record.
A recurring theme of the album is having trouble sleeping and the clear distress in which the narrator finds himself. It appears in almost half of the album's songs, and creates the feel for the album and emphasises the title; 'Scatterbrain". This is a record that prides itself on a strong sense of understanding and thematic songs and the band are ultimately marking a move away from alt-pop into harsher territory, with songs that are more 'rough around the edges' than anything on the debut.
At first it can seem confusing, but this is evidently an experimental album which shows The Xcerts finding their sound, whatever that may be and ultimately it is just a good rock album!