The Rave About Rixton

The Rave About Rixton

By Joseph Turcotte

It would be an understatement to say that boy bands from the U.K. are popular in the United States. Since the reign of the Beatles, English boy bands have stolen the hearts of teenage girls – and boys – across the U.S. and England. Rixton, a rising Manchester band that formed in 2012 and landed their record deal in 2014, is no exception. Their 2014 album “Let the Road” includes “Me and My Broken Heart,” a hit that landed them the #1 spot on the U.K. charts and the #6 spot on the U.S. charts. Rixton follows a soulful pop vibe mixed with R&B, and “Let the Road” contains a refreshing mix of catchy “jams” and darker melodies, including “Hotel Ceiling,” released as single in February of 2015.

“Me and My Broken Heart” is the obvious first choice. Straight from the heart and astonishingly catchy, this single is perfect to jam out to when you’re stuck in traffic or waiting in line. Jake Roche, the main singer, sounds like an English Adam Levine; in fact, the whole band has a Maroon 5 vibe, but they maintain their originality with their pure acoustics. My favorite section of the chorus is when Roche goes up on “Hold me so I’m not falling apart:” he drags out the note, sending shivers up one’s spine. Rixton also made an interesting choice by presenting the chorus first, an unusual choice for catchy hits; however, it works perfectly because the band aims to get in your face. The music video, a comical yet ominous representation of girls abusing their vulnerability, matches the message the band tries to relay to the audience. It’s a song that I could listen to over and over – because radio stations tend to do that anyway – and keep my attention and excitement throughout.

“Hotel Ceiling” may be a less obvious choice from the album, but the song reveals Rixton’s darker, moodier side, coupled with complex lyrics. The second line in the first stanza: “On the TV they said they had reported you dead.” Right away, a listener knows there is a deeper message, or perhaps a secret, underlined in the song. In contrast to “Me and My Broken Heart,” Rixton slowed the beat down and added some weight to the lyrics. Unlike Rixton’s catchy singles, “Hotel Ceiling” is difficult to understand the first time around. And if you didn’t understand the song by listening, the music video will leave you dazed and confused. In the end, it all seems to come together – but I won’t spoil the surprise. It’s worth looking up, but I recommend listening to the song before you delve into the video, or you’ll end up dazed and confused as well.

The huge asset Rixton has is their adaptability. Their first album is very impressive, and they have great potential. If they follow the soulful R&B, coupled with a few catchy hits to please the jammers, such as myself, it will not be long before they top the charts again. On a closing note, the title for the album fits the band to a T. “Let the Road” is open for implications, such as “Let the Road Own You” or “Let the Road Guide You.” Rixton is still early enough in their career where they could choose either path – or, best of all, they could choose their own path and set themselves apart. It seems America will have to wait for their decision, a decision well worth the wait. 4.99/5