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"On our set at Will's Pub in Orlando FL"

". . .crafted songs with catchy grooves and repetitive mind-stamping lyrics, Will’s Pub’s brand new sound system pulsated with electrifying frequencies that blew away the crowd with original music." - Westley Valentin

"What's in a name?"

". . .the good news – and there is some – is that they're significantly better than their mawkish handle. Fueled with a pop-punk jump, their jaunty melodies weren't at all bad." - Bao Le Huu, Orlando Weekly


"At BackBooth, Orlando's X.O.X.O. offered a strong set that mixed post-punk muscle with a melodic knack." - Jim Abbot, Orlandosentinel.com

"XOXO in Reax Music Mag"

Words: Susie Orr

XOXO might not be the most hardcore name off the block. And the band's music isn’t, either. But who says nice guys have to finish last?

XOXO (now pronounced “X-O-X-O,” and no longer “Hugs and Kisses” after it received a pretty harsh diss by Orlando Weekly’s music columnist Bao Le-Huu) is a rapidly rising indie-rock band out of Orlando, formed through close friends and the power of Craigslist.

With a sugary synth-pop sound and catchy melodies combined with melodic guitar and somewhat melancholy lyrics, it’s sort of an early '90s college alt-rock sound (not the bad kind you want to forget, like Deep Blue Something, but rather the good kind, like Blind Melon or Polaris) mixed with contemporary shades of Motion City Soundtrack and PlayRadioPlay.

XOXO performed at 2008’s edition of buzzed Gainesville festival The Fest, and have since been playing shows throughout the Central Florida area. A cover of The Thermals’ “I Might Need You to Kill” was a well-performed pleasant surprise on the band’s setlist at a recent show at Bar-BQ Bar in Orlando; despite technical difficulties at the venue, the band’s sound was refreshing in the face of dozens of local Fall Out Boy wannabes.

Lead singer and guitarist Noah Kussack moved here from Tallahassee about two years ago, and met up with old friend and current bassist Kyle Raker and guitarist Andy Matchett. They had talked about playing together previously, and decided to take action. Raker brought drummer Beau Rothman into the mix, and Kussack met keyboardist Gregg Robinson through online-classifieds clearinghouse Craigslist.

Back in Tallahassee, Kussack was previously in Slow Dance, a rock band, and an “instrumental pop black metal band” called the Blackest Knights of the Darkest Apocalypse. He has been playing instruments for over 12 years and is the primary composer and lyricist for XOXO.

“It’s a combination of classic rock from my parents, punk rock from my friends and indie rock I found on my own,” says Kussack of his influences.

Songs like “Life in General” are poppy, catchy and even fun, but the lyrics contain a more sober tone.

XOXO is currently working on an album to be released on March 17, and are planning a St. Paddy’s release show with Inkwell, Slow Claw, and One Step for Landmines at hometown club Backbooth. They're looking for a label, and will be touring the southeast from Florida through Texas until their dates at SXSW in Austin this March. XOXO’s live shows are not the most dramatic; in fact, although they sound excellent, Kussack and the rest of the band seem to have trouble making eye contact with the audience, almost in a shy or awkward way. However, that does not mean their live show is anything to be missed.

“We try to focus more on the music, as opposed to theatrics,” Kussack says.

For a band that’s been together less than a year, there’s a lot of promise on display, and a future that Central Florida will be watching.

“We’re still a young band trying to find themselves,” says Robinson. - Reax


Recording full length album now.



With deep roots in Orlando, Fl, this energetic quintet is a mash up of the Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Ramones, and The Flaming Lips. The boys came together earlier this year and have been cranking out a slew of original material since. Their flawless renditions of funky indie-pop/rock tunes have dazzled audiences with their complex vocal harmonies and unique interplay between voice and instruments. An act not to be missed, you are sure to find yourself moving when you see XOXO live. Isn't that what it is all about?