ALBUM REVIEW: XXI – Inside Out

XXI was formed in 2010 under the name A Feast for Kings. They have grown and gained recognition in the United States with their music, videos and touring as a pretty heavy outfit but have experienced more than their share of hardship.

In May 2014 their lead vocalist, Eric Gentry passed away in a work related accident. The tragedy occurred only a month after releasing their first EP and weeks before they were to be signed to a label. They then changed their name to XXI in commemoration of Gentry. ‘XXI’ being the roman numerals for ‘21’, the age of their young vocalist at the time of his passing. Drummer Carson Butcher took up the position of lead vocalist and bassist Robbie Barnett moved to the drums.

The band picked themselves up out of the devastation and went on to record their debut album Inside Out and released with Tooth & Nail Records.

Yet again they were struck with a substantial misfortune when their Facebook page, one of their biggest marketing tools, was hacked and discontinued just as they were releasing the album, losing direct contact with thousands of followers and potential buyers for the album.

But once again they are up and running full blast through every obstacle and I recommend you give them the chance to blow you away with Inside Out.

This album hits you like a frayed football in the face at break-time while you’re just trying to eat a Skippy sandwich in 6th grade.

With loads of originality, it scratches that itch that we’ve all had for a new alternative rock music sensation just right.

This Christian Hardcore/alt rock band will be well received by listeners of 30 Seconds to Mars, Beartooth, Crown the Empire and the like. The full emotion vocals and breakdowns (listen to “Say It Again” in the lyric video above) have an addictive quality to them while each song has carefully been written to be its own. A versatile album with beautiful words and music and the production is fantastic.

Then there’s the vocals. Carson can sing it, and he’s only twenty-one years old! We’re looking at another Jared Leto here. It seems Kentucky has an abundance of good singers though as the backup vocals will also make your palm’s sweat. Too much sexy.

Tooth & Nail seems to have hit a gold when they signed XXI, what with the boys hitting number one on the national Christian rock chart above the likes of massive bands including P.O.D., Red, and Tree63.

Inside Out is available on iTunes HERE and at the time of writing only costs R69.99!

Get it.

9/10

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XXI

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