Exlovers + Planet Earth
The Lexington, London
February 28th 2011
There really is something enthralling about watching a band not just perform music but energetically project themselves into it. It’s akin to standing against a gale who’s presence is to overpower you and anything in its way. That would in part, sum up the appeal of Exlovers — they cut a forceful, harmony-fuelled rug. The other part is they’re the most attractive bunch of tattooed scruffs that you’ll ever encounter. Put all this in the context of their latest single “Blowing Kisses”, a song that transcends simple indie guitar music and that gale hits like a perfumed fist that still makes you want to stand up and take more.
Support band Planet Earth really should not go unmentioned. Given a recorded impression of weightless lovesick acoustic troubadours, it was a relief to find this was not the case. A substantial change must have occurred within the band following their “Falling Into Love” single from last year, turning them into a fluid power pop act with a guitarist throwing out leads that would’ve impressed James Honeyman-Scott (look him up, kids). Such strong hooks and buoyant boy-ish melodies cast aside any “hurry up, do your thing and be done with it” support band woes. Planet Earth, you’re on our A-list.
As the single launch for “Blowing Kisses”, it’s Exlovers night to shine. Few bands in recent memory have perfectly captured that spirited rush of jangle guitar and jangled emotions that borrow elements from all the great indie guitar bands of the last few decades from Yo La Tengo to Deerhunter. Having recently finished recording their debut album the band are primed with new material to preview, and after test-driving several new songs, singer/guitarist Peter Scott addresses the crowd with the obvious — “you’re all guinea pigs tonight”.
Old songs like “You’re So Quiet” appear beefed up to match the frenetic pace of the new tracks, which “Blowing Kisses” amongst them were delivered with such cool conviction from a band only too aware of the tricks up their sleeve, and if their debut album is half as impressive as their performance tonight, who’d not want to be in their shoes right now? Called back for an encore, their cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” had them dipping their hand into the mainstream and unsurprisingly, finding it entirely within their reach.