If you know a band intimately, there’s a good chance your fave tracks aren’t their big hits, or the opener on their breakthrough album. No, it’s more likely some obscure song from their early days – an old b-side, or perhaps a hidden cut if you’re getting on a bit (damn you streaming for ruining hidden tracks). Jordan, Murray and Tom introduce their top deep cuts from The Xcerts’ back catalogue.
‘Gum’, from ‘Scatterbrain’
“Still, in my opinion, one of the oddest songs we ever wrote, on a record which dealt, exclusively, in ODD. Strange, syncopated guitars in the verses, and even stranger lyrics about sleeping in trees, and ghosts with sick-skin. And yet, despite all the grotesque imagery and obtuse melody, the song constantly resolves to a super-straight, super-catchy chorus that, to me, sounds like it’d fit on any other record of ours, past or present. Also, I will never forget the recording process, and hearing Murray’s guttural, where-the-fuck-did-that-come-from scream over the final section, still gives me chills.” – Jordan
‘North East Kid’, b-side for ‘Shaking In The Water’
“This song was written during the writing sessions for [2014 album] ‘There Is Only You’ and was funnily enough inspired by the writing process for [2015’s] ‘I Don’t Care’. I must have written 15 different choruses for ‘I Don’t Care’. Sincerely, I lost it. During this period, we were being courted by a major label who thought the song was a hit but didn’t think any of the choruses were good enough. I was very young and naive back then, but I was really angry and hurt that someone could so easily devalue the lyrical meaning purely because they didn’t deem the words ‘hit-worthy’ enough. I was also incredibly emotionally drained around this time, so in response to the guy at the label and the entire situation, I wrote ‘North East Kid’. Unfortunately, we only ever recorded a demo, so its full potential was never realised. It was massively inspired by The Smashing Pumpkins, so I like to think if we had recorded it properly, it would have been cinematic and rousing.” – Murray
‘Tear Me Down’, from ‘Stairs To Noise’ EP
“This has always been a favourite of mine. It never made it on to a record, but we did play it live a few times a while back.
It’s pretty dark and sad sounding, a morose lullaby with a slightly more hopeful chorus, which is like a lot of the music I listen to still.
I understand our decision back in 2011 not to include it on our second album; it’s a veritable patchwork quilt of differing sections, but I’m glad it’s haunting melody is out there in the world.” – Tom