The XCERTS - So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way | EP Review

Aberdonian alt-rockers The XCERTS are back with interesting arrangements of songs from the past, plunging them into a pool of reverb. Covers of Starship's ‘We Built this City’, Ramones' ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ and Avril Lavigne's ‘Complicated’ are blooming, modern soft pop offerings that bolster their worth with minimal percussion. The reimagined tracks have deep, foundational bass and lush high end. There is a thick and very interesting amount of reverb, one of swirling ambience, that flows throughout the songs, providing a soundscape of panned guitar and vocal swirls which is most definitely an experience for headphone listeners.

Related: "It’s where adult us meets teenage us" - The XCERTS on Covers and Crucial Conversations

The folk reminiscent rearrangements are brought to an end with the final track of the EP, where a less altered cover of The Cure's ‘Inbetween days’ brings the mood and energy up with a compressed drum machine, still with a taste of the previous sonics. With a slight restructure, they provide an interesting modernisation of the classic Cure swirler. ‘Inbetween days’ as the final track of the EP is definitely an interesting choice, especially with the effect it has. The sudden injection of upbeat music and pace is contrasted by the emotional lyrics, something The Cure were renowned for.

Overall, this bundle of covers is a more than a pleasurable experience with it being a fun, carefree and delicately creative expansion of beloved songs being moved in directions that would not immediately come to mind. For example, The Ramones and church organs would not be an immediate pairing one would pick. However, the marriage of the two within this track lift the old school punk tune into a new realm of musicality and pushes the question further: ‘what is punk?’. The listener should find a comfortable space, put on their headphones and let The XCERTS transport you into a new world of musical interpretation and delivery.

Score: 8/10

So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way is out now via Raygun Records.

Purchase the record here.