Album Review
by SashaS

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  More on: XisLoaded

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XisLoaded: 'Raw Nerve'
XisLoaded offer a copious rock dictionary

If the charts exhibit anything it is mainly American artists the majors are pushing toward our attention and wallets although this has been one damn fine year for the British rockers. Amplifier, mclusky, The Ordinary Boys [released lasts week], the emerging army of lame-rockers and XisLoaded.

'Raw Nerve' is an excellent offering from the Bath’s outfit that alternates between indie and rock. It has its proggy moments as well, all wrapped up in catchy melodies; the previous singles ‘Laugh, Paint & Wave’ and ‘Thirteen Days’ should have been hits. ‘Zero’ adds to the scope by crisscrossing their preferred genres, ‘One More Razor’ displays their rawer side without losing on tunefulness. More polished and dynamic is ‘Roll On’ with gigantic chorus where guitarist does some, to use an old-skool term, real ‘wrist-merchantism’.

Rocktastic riffs, rousing chords, rapturous details coupled with interesting and often intriguing lyrics, the band seems set to follow in the footsteps of The Muse with a U2 prospect. ‘The Start of Everything’ takes a more acoustic route with psychedelic vignettes supplied by guitarist until its exploding finale draws you into its controlled chaos!

All embracing guitar-pop blasts all over these grooves… One song title may describe their oeuvre correctly: ‘Bleeding the Shapes’ but their sound potential could have be in jeopardy. The album, that had been recorded about a year ago, was finally slotted for release at the beginning of July but then, out of the brightest blue, the record company they were contracted to - Music For Nations - was taken over by BMG. [The Bertelsmann Music Group is also due to merge with Sony, after the European Monopolies Commission approved it and are only waiting for the US approval to complete.]

The band decided that this arrangement wasn’t for them and managed to negotiate a deal to buy the masters back from the new owners. The release was then delayed for another couple of weeks until the band set up their own label and it is finally out. Instead to be lost among the number of acts on the major, they are bosses of their own destiny. As it should be because they impress like their own man.

Jake Robertson and his boys are independently minded outfit who speak the pre-cyber Rockabulary. ‘X’ obviously stands for - Rich.


XisLoaded’s album ‘Raw Nerve’ is released 26 July 2004 by ShellShock