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The Xcerts Scatterbrain
Released 4 October 2010
Producer Mike Sapone
Label Xtra Mile Recordings
Length 40:10
Genre Powerpop, indie
Website www.thexcertsband.com

An album with a song called 'Slackerpop'. Try not to allow the blinkers to slip on. But here comes the scuffed, muffled opening –deliberately scuffed at the mixing desk, you understand– to a homage of plodding mid-90s loafing. The album art, a shadowed figure with his back to the camera, exacerbates the suspicion that The Xcerts are devoted fans of Lou Barlow. By the time 'He Sinks, He Sleeps' shambles out of the speakers one could be forgiven for mistaking it for the zombified corpse of The Folk Implosion come back to haunt us.

The stench of teenage bedroom shut-ins is mirrored in songs with titles such as 'I Scare Easy' and 'Lament', and it makes you wonder how Sebadoh could pull this trick and get away with it, but The Xcerts, and their kin, cannot. And then you realise that Sebadoh were the leaders, the ones who made the path by walking, and that these followers are providing nothing new.

Scatterbrain kills the lie that The X-Factor is killing music. In the days of yore Stock, Aitken and Waterman were the villains and yet music burned underground, flaring up in the popular consciousness in rare and wonderful moments. Now, there is The X-Factor –obviously risible– but where are the keepers of the flame? If Simon Cowell is manufacturing pop, the legions of groups such as The Xcerts are doing the same thing: cranking out tried and tested motifs again, and again, and again...

'Hurt With Me' say The Xcerts. ‘No’ say I.

- Paul McGranaghan