Over the last three years the quintet has not only welcomed guitarist Dustin Green into the fold but also set their sights on developing an arsenal of songs with a powerful-yet-far-reaching appeal. This Concrete Heart, Xero Sum’s debut full-length, is the direct result of that aspiration. Highlighted by Testin’s compelling appeal, the twelve-track effort sees her passionately weave stories ripped direct from personal journals. With hardly any sense of self-righteousness, she’s an open book of life’s ups and downs where even moments of tension, doubt and disillusionment always come with an underlying impression of hope. Adding to the feel of every song are Testin’s bandmates who provide swirling and surging sonics to match the lyrical muse.
The album’s already produced a breakout single in “Wasted Away”, and with its interplay between vigorously catchy riffage and enticing vocal hooks it’s easy to understand why local new rock alternative station WRZX X103 put Xero Sum into rotation. This Concrete Heart is also a record that’s very much immersed in mood. Intimate details about romantic relationships, personal politics and inner demons are boldly laid out on the table throughout the CD’s dozen cuts. The ache that’s so movingly apparent in “Apology” couldn’t be anymore sincere as the distressed refrains of “I wrote this song for you but you're not listening” tug at the heartstrings in tandem with some great songwriting that scores big in capturing essence. The brooding, rhythmic mid-pace of “For What It’s Worth” is every bit the slow-burning seethe of disrespect while “My Naivety” connects further as weighty, charging guitars propel more confrontational sentiments.
The distinct chemistry Xero Sum shares is undeniable and their solid playing skills - especially that of sticksman Senour during “All The While” - even allow them to rework A-HA’s classic “80s pop hit “Take On Me” into a fairly respectable cover that might just get them radio play yet again. But when all is said and done something quickly becomes clear about This Concrete Heart and Xero Sum. There’s more than a glimmer of hope here when it comes to having a bright future. - via MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/xerosum Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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