Xero Sum

Xero Sum



Xero Sum
KJ Testin-vocals
Trinity Martin-guitar
Dustin Green-guitar
Brian Lewis-bass
Gabe Senour-drums

Gleaming with a presence that casts all preconceptions aside, Indianapolis-based Xero Sum offer a stirring, driving and determined approach to modern hard rock that’s remarkably captivating. As invigorating as it is entertaining, the fivesome’s sound and vision teems with an unpretentious charisma that’s strikingly magnetic. Something this encouraging deserves its day to shine.

Formed in early 2004 by drummer Gabe Senour along with guitarist Trinity Martin and since departed member Joe VanMeter, Xero Sum was soon completed by vocalist KJ Testin and bassist Brian Lewis. Together the group quickly established themselves with a notably explosive live show that garnered a considerable hometown following. 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 regular 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.


Wasted Away

Written By: KJ Testin

I fear the sun, I fear the moonlight
I find my days wasting, wasting away
I mourn alone, I live in silence
I find my time wasting, wasting away
The days they pass and years then follow
I see that life's a bitch and then you die
And from my dreams, I will awaken
To find my life has wasted, wasted away

Take me away from here and give me back my life
Put me back at the start and force me to open up my eyes.

My darkened room, I let in daylight
I find the sun blinding to my eyes
A mirrored wall, see my reflection
And a face I can't recognize
The tears I've cried and times that I tried
My energy wasted, wasted away
Cold and scared, weak and angry
Forced to sit feeling myself dying

And I have my regrets, all the things that I couldn't see
For the times that I wept, all the anger inside of me...
For the times that I begged you
To slap me awake

For What It's Worth

Written By: KJ Testin

The day I walked into your life,
Did things get darker, did your skies turn black?
Was I considered a threat?
From the start did I make your life too hard?
I only admired you, you were so much better than me.
But now I know you, I just want to tell you this one thing...

I won't bow down before you
I know all the secrets you hold,
And if I ever respected you
I'll take that back with me now.

I see the glares from your eyes
Every time you think my back is to you.
I know you're not sincere,
Your transparency helps me see right through you
I can't believe how much you hate me.
Do I deserve this?
Do you think I deserve this?

I won't bow...
I'll take it back with me now.


Written By: KJ Testin

Look at me.
Know I am your daughter.

When you leave I will follow you there
Rest assured I'll search forever.
I can see my very eyes in your stare
When you look at me, know I am your daughter.

Look so hard to find just what to justify
Have you the means to try?
To hide from hiding?
Please pretend that you care, and I will follow you there.

Wait, just one clear moment
I can hope to know what guides you so.
Faint signs of you remain within me.
When you breathe, know I am your daughter

Don't you forget about me
I won't forget about you.
Do you miss me?
I know I miss you.

Set List

My Naivety
Payne Rd.
For What It's Worth
Hide and Seek
All The While
Never Say Never
Wasted Away
Trade Yourself
Take On Me(cover)

30-75 minute set