They’re a curious bunch, The Xcerts. Lots of people have heard of them, they have been around for what seems like forever, have some huge songs in the form of ‘Scatterbrain’ and ‘Distant Memory’ and yet have never been able to break out of the title of ‘cult band’.

Now, in the four years following the release of second album Scatterbrain, The Xcerts have been touring almost constantly, building a reputation for being one of the UK’s finest underground bands, now with third album There is Only You they have set their sites on climbing out of the shadows of their peers and joining the elite in their own right.

‘Live Like This’ kicks the album into gear following a slow orchestral intro and hints at the summits the band intend to reach, throwing out a massive chorus barely minutes into it, vocalist Murray McLeod showing off a previously unheard confidence, juxtaposing the fragility of previous records. ‘Shaking In the Water’ picks up the baton and continues on the same path, with a riff that moshpits will welcome with open arms at the band’s shows.

‘Pop Song’ is as good a single as you’re going to get from a guitar band, and has s suitably brilliant video to go with it if you haven’t seen it already, while ‘She’ and ‘There is Only You’ see The Xcerts embracing their more grandiose side, adding strings and a piano to the mix and further showcasing the scope of variety of sounds on show throughout There is Only You.

The band have said themselves that on this record they weren’t afraid to embrace their pop side and it shows, There is Only You has big choruses, more catchy hooks than some bands manage in an entire career, and most importantly the sense that there is a real intent behind the songs that each one is the best it could be.

[rating:4]