Hotly-tipped Welsh powerpunk/hardcore quartet XL LIFE are pleased to announce they will play two select April 2023 UK headline dates in Cardiff and London, with tickets on sale now (see below for listings). To celebrate the news, the band have released a visualiser for ‘Shout’, the experimental jazz-laden opening track and manifesto from the quartet’s powerful and “genre defining” debut album, The Boogie Down South, out now via Venn Records.
Recorded at WWWStudios in Aldershot, The Boogie Down South was mixed by friend of the band Nick Davies at Meteor Sound in Cardiff. The striking painting used for the album artwork comes courtesy of another friend of the band, artist Maddie Hobbs.
“We met Nick through a mutual connection, and were beyond lucky to do so,” says drummer Jasper Gaskin of working with Davies. “He put every drop of passion you could ever ask for into bringing the mixes to life. His creativity and experimentation allowed The Boogie Down South to take on a life of its own through trial and error, successes and failures. It really became its own creation and breathed its own air, and for that we are eternally grateful to Nick.”
Like many of their peers in the hardcore scene, XL LIFE’s ethos is a deceptively simple one, but it’s something that we all struggle with at times: making the most of our lives.
“It’s all about living an Xtra Large Life,” explains vocalist Traxx, “but in a context that holds longevity. Being that this is our whole mission statement, we’ve had to do the very thing that we didn’t want to do, which is to step back from the band until we are in a stable place. Placing our healing journey before anything else. We take the stance that anything is possible. Full restoration and recovery is possible. It might take some time and it will be painful but we are not here to repeat the wounds of the past.”
Lead single ‘Baby Steps’ featuring MOBO winner Bob Vylan was released in December 2022, with the track crashing straight onto Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist and drawing attention from STEREOGUM, Rock Sound, Brooklyn Vegan, and more.
The band’s previous single ‘Just Do It’ was released earlier this year and picked up a wave of support from hardcore and punk tastemakers at the BBC R1 Rock Show, Kerrang! Radio, Down For Life, Distorted Sound, Punk News, The Alternative, KNOTFEST, and more.
After a busy summer of live appearances in 2021 at 2000 Trees, Burn It Down, FOCUS Wales, Primordial General Mayhem and more, the band were set to hit the road on support tour dates with Cancer Bats and Comeback Kid, before a series of traumatic personal struggles with substance abuse, broken homes, violence, disabilities and mental health issues forced the quartet to put their music to one side and focus on themselves.
XL LIFE live dates:
27th April – London – Bermondsey Social Club (tickets)
28th April – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach (tickets)
Based in Cardiff, the band sprang to life when ex-Astroid Boys frontman Traxx joined former bandmate Lewis and drummer Jasper at their regular jam sessions in 2020. The boys sensed they were onto something special and in just a few months, XL LIFE went on to play a sell-out headline show at Cardiff venue MADE and released their debut four-track EP Sweet Moves.
Following the release of their 2020 standalone single ‘World Keeps Spinnin’’ (supported by Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Baker, who selected Traxx as the featured artist of the week), XL Life dropped the 2021 follow up ‘Noise’ with a forward thinking and artistic dance-led video starring Tayluh Smith to support from Rock Sound, DSCVRD, BBC Radio One, ASBO Magazine, BUZZ magazine and more.
Meanwhile the bands’ loyal fanbase continues to grow, not just in their home city of Cardiff but across the globe, with a burgeoning following in Malaysia’s hardcore punk scene, and appearances at Upsurge Fest and Turbulence Festival in 2021.
With his previous projects, Traxx has already established himself as one of the alternative scene’s most energetic hype men—his natural ability has seen him command the crowd at hundreds of gigs around the globe, and now XL Life are primed and ready to deliver their high-octane sound to the world.
Watch The Video For Lead Single ‘Baby Steps’ feat. MOBO Winners Bob Vylan HERE.
“A really, really strong and promising debut…anyone who likes punk should listen to this” – True. Cvlt. Pop!
“What happens when Bad Brains is grafted onto RATM…brilliant” – Adam Walton, BBC Wales
“Frank and fulfilling positive power…bring on that XTRA LARGE LIFE” – The Soundboard
“Full of soul and emotion…the name on everyone’s lips” – God Is In The TV Zine [9/10]
“Brings unexpected depth and heart in a genre defining package” – Noizze [8/10]
“Breaking the glass ceiling of constricting genre stamps” – Buzz Magazine [5/5]
“Absolutely amazing… they’re going places!” – Alex Baker, Kerrang Radio
“Innovative, catchy as f*ck, and full of clear passion” – Brooklyn Vegan
“A unique and overwhelming slab of 21st-century punk” – Rock Sound
“This music is the vehicle for change” – The Punk Site [9/10]
“Albums of note out this week” – STEREOGUM
“Emotional and raw” – Distorted Sound