Brighton, UK-based rock outfit The XCERTS (Murray Macleod, Jordan Smith, and Tom Heron). released their highly anticipated album, Hold On To Your Heart, on January 19 via Raygun Records.
“Hold On To Your Heart is about finding a pinhole of light in the dark and turning it into the sun,” says Murray Macleod, frontman of The XCERTS of the new album. “We really did shoot for the stars with this one.” It’s with the same wild-eyed enthusiasm and passion with which he pens sing-along modern pop anthems infused with a thick layer of 80’s heartland rock. His proclamation of how music can turn the smallest pinprick of light into a dazzling solar spectacle is the motivating thread that weaves throughout the album. Hold On To Your Heart is a bold, pure love letter to a bygone era inked by a sentimental hopeless romantic.
“We were going for a timeless, stripped back sound,” says Murray. “The mantra in the studio was we wanted it to feel classic but have a modern twist, which is not an easy feat to pull off. We wanted people to listen to the record and just think anything’s possible; we were trying to capture the ending of (seminal 1985 John Hughes movie) The Breakfast Club. It’s about that feeling of wanting to be outside and experiencing life; don’t sit in your house looking at the girl on Facebook, go get the girl!”
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with the band to find ask about their favorite Hughes-esque movies from the ’80s. This is what they told us.
The Breakfast Club
In my opinion, The Breakfast Club is the greatest teen/high school movie ever made. I think many people believe it to be just a cute ’80s movie, but in actual fact, it’s an incredibly detailed and layered piece of work. The characters are so complex, the dynamic between all five kids is wildly intricate and the minimalistic approach to the movie makes everything more poignant. John Hughes’ writing is absolutely wonderful, the soundtrack is killer and the movie may very well feature the greatest last scene of all time. If you don’t learn something about yourself or feel invigorated to go and experience life in all its terrifying glory, there is no hope for you.
My favorite JH movie, hands down. I saw this at that sweet-spot in my childhood where I was old enough to be allowed to watch certain grown-up films, but still too young to understand the really dark humor they contained. I didn’t realize John Candy’s character was an alcoholic, inveterate gambler who completely neglects and endangers the two children placed in his care. It was just funny when he hit that guy with the golf-ball…
Another classic, wholesome kids movie with a proper dark underbelly to it. Christopher Lloyd’s portrayal of the crazy-eyed, snaggle-toothed vagrant was truly terrifying to me as a kid and his final, beautifully slapstick comeuppance at the hands of a totally oblivious Dennis (which definitely mirrors that of the wet bandits in Home Alone) is pure, fist-in-the-air triumph.
Heathers is a film from the late ’80s, not actually directed by John Hughes, but exists in the same era of filmmaking. It is a black comedy starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder about a plan to seek revenge against a group of high school mean girls all named Heather that goes very awry.
It’s a pretty dark movie with a lot of death and destruction but has that irreverent humor present in a lot of Hughes work in the 80’s.
Jordan and I once did a Slater marathon at his flat consisting of Heathers, Pump Up The Volume, and Gleaming The Cube.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A classic John Hughes movie, written in a week, and the first time I saw a character break the fourth wall and talk to me through the TV screen. Ferris is basically a dick who leads his mates astray and bunks off school, trashes expensive cars and mimes to the Beatles, but it’s all very entertaining and reminds one to “seize the day.”
Terrible waistcoat though.
Purchase Hold On To Your Heart here