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"CD Reviews"

Reviewer: Simon67 - Middlesbrough, England.
I bought my copy a couple of weeks ago and its been non-stop listening ever since. The celtic influenced arrangements with the story telling lyrics make this cd an excellent purchase. Every track has something to enjoy. The standout track has to be, JAGUAR, the melody has a richness to it, while the story tells it all, EXCELLENT. Don't hesitate; buy this CD NOW!!

XUK's new album has your head nodding all day long!
Reviewer: Jack
What a fantastic compilation of triumphant tunes, each more catchy than the next! Tracks to look out for are New Way (awesome!) and the revamped XUK original, Jaguar! With some fantastic vocals, shaking bass lines and incredible viola playing in parts, the whole act comes together to produce a well worked, catchy piece of brilliance.

Reviewer: babybreath
this cd is so great i swear it has become my national anthem for teen angst. i listen to that cd every single day and i just love it. my most favorite song would have to be Unzip. i love the beats and rhymes you guys developed. Great job, i cant wait til the next one comes out.

Simply Good Stuff!
Reviewer: Burbank Sam
I will do my best to describe why I liked this album so much. The music is catchy and a pleasure to listen to, but what makes it special is that it seems to come from deep in the artists heart -- so it's packed with an emotional charge that blasts through and really touched me. This unique musical style is wonderful, and I hope to hear more of it. If I had to sum it up in one word... the music is HONEST.

It really did take 2 cds.
Reviewer: Edith
This album is amazing. It's the perfect blend of pure & sexy, calm & violent, mellow & upbeat. With an outstanding variety of songs (compare the guitar-driven 'Normal' with the beautifully melodic 'Song For Marriah'), & an unbelievable mix of talent (clear, clean vocals backed perfectly by smooth guitar, pounding drums, & the always sultry viola), this album would not have been the same if the cds had been released seperately. Love hits... is the one indie album every rock fan should own. - CD Baby

"XUK By: Lauren Proctor"

Northeast In-Tune Magazine Vol. 2 No. 9
It would be easy to pick XUK out of a crowd for various reasons, reasons which include some of the following:
1) XUK is originally from the U.K (hence the band’s title). As a result, Simon Holden has a thin accent that makes his spiked hair and already infectious voice more appealing to women.
2) Everyone in the band can be seen wearing black, but Simon, the band’s lead singer, wears a kilt and wears it well in America.
3) Last, but certainly not least, XUK has packed up to seven of their own band members on stage simultaneously in order to achieve the same symphonic sound live as they featured on their debut album Love Hits…Like a Cricket Bat Out of Hell.
Right from the album’s title, it becomes apparent that even though XUK is serious about rocking hard, they also have a playful nature about them. This sense of humor and attribute of not taking themselves too seriously is reflected in songs like “Unzip.” The band banters about how fitting the sound of unzipping is. But as XUK rocks about the snap and the zip, their masculine seemingly unrelated rhymes really talk about how Holden wants to see his partner naked. The song features the viola, cello, and guitar, making this clever track about passion beautifully unexpected.

XUK isn’t to be taken lightly though. The band balances between fun songs like “Unzip” and more serious and emotionally charged tracks such as “Song for Marriah.” In this track Holden croons about a lover in an honest voice that makes it easy to connect with the band as a listener.
While XUK’s sound is timeless, their lyrical slant tends toward issues prevalent on the mind of young adults. As a result, this band will probably become most popular amongst this angst ridden age group ready to figure out life and take on the world that awaits them.
Yet XUK’s diverse range of music, from serious to playful, tending towards violence and then to pure love ballad, make them a band that has a little bit of appeal for everyone. - Northeast In-Tune Magazine


XUK's double debut album, "Love Hits ...like a cricket bat-out-of-hell", was independently released on August 22, 2005 and gained the 2006 DIY Producer of the Year Award for Robin Holden. To date, tracks from the album have been featured in the indie movie "Freezerburn" (dir: Melissa Balin) and a short film "86 Manners" (dir: Paul Hart). XUK songs are on the current playlists of radio shows "Neuz Pollution" (KXLU Los Angeles), PulseUnsigned's "The A List" (Sky Channel 905 in Europe) and Kill Radio (www.killradio.org). All 21 tracks from the double album may be sampled and downloaded at http://www/cdbaby.com/cd/xuk.



XUK started life in 2003 as a four piece rock band with a traditional line up - vocals/guitar/bass/drums - principally formed to play the original material of British singer/songwriter Simon Holden. Viola player Eric Summer was introduced to the band by a mutual friend in 2004 and XUK's unique, symphonic sound was born.

A year in production, XUK's double CD was released in August 2005 and comprises of 19 original songs plus the band's take on two classics, David Bowie's "Janine" and Cat Stevens' "Wild World". Ron Pak (Maple Mars, Double-Naught Spies, Drive-Thru Jesus) joined as the drummer in early 2006. In 2008 bass player Dave Cole and guitarist Johnny DeMarco (Boss/Roland) joined the band.

XUK was brought to the attention of thousands of online listeners at iSound.com in June of 2005 and XUK have occupied the Number One spot in the website's Top 100 Unsigned Artists Chart. Registering over 16,000 page views and more than 11,000 song plays in three months, XUK is attracting a growing fan base around the world from the US & Canada to the UK, from the Phillipines to Australia. XUK music is now available on most major music download sites including iTunes.

XUK regularly play live, mostly in the Los Angeles area, as well as touring the Western US. XUK played the South-By-Southwest music festival in Austin for the first time in March 2006. Local venues include Safari Sam's, The Viper Room, The Mint, The Joint, The Cat Club, The Knitting Factory, The Gig, Zen Sushi, El Cid, Highland Grounds, M Bar, Mister T's Bowl.

The band is currently working on material for their follow-up album.

Producer Robin Holden was honoured with the 2006 DIY Producer of the Year Award for his work on "Love Hits", XUK's 21 song debut double album.

XUK was a runner-up in the 2006 Singer/Songwriter Awards.

SIMON HOLDEN - (vocals, guitar)
Simon is from a little post-industrial town in the North of England called Accrington. The same place as Jon Anderson, the lead singer of the prog-rock group Yes! Simon's first instrument was drums when he was thirteen and he learned three chords on the guitar in the boy scouts in England. Simon's songwriting has attracted a plenty of critical acclaim over the past few years for his unique take on the love song.

ERIC SUMMER - (viola)
Originally from Missoula, Montana, Eric started playing viola at age ten for an undisclosed reason. He is in his early 30's now and has a lot more hair. He also has a Master's Degree in viola performance from USC which is obvious when you hear him play. After years of classical playing with many chamber groups and symphonies (as well as concerts with performers such as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Louie Bellson, and Wayne Shorter), he decided to switch gears and play some rock and roll. After meeting Simon and joining XUK Eric has been invited to play on the recordings of several other local Los Angeles bands.
Eric likes British comedy, video games (which he gets paid real money to play), cartoons, and chocolate milk.

RON PAK - (drums)
Ron began playing music at the age of six. His first instrument being the violin but after a summer of playgrounds and soccer violin fell by the wayside. After a couple of years banging on pots and pans drums became the way. Ron is a classicaly-trained musician with Bachelors in Music from CSUN but has maintained his street smarts when it comes to music. He has played in numerous bands in the LA area. Most noteably Double Naught Spies, Maple Mars, Drive Thru Jesus, and now with XUK. Much in demand as a session and touring drummer Ron has toured in both the US and UK.
Ron's a great cook and is going to have his own restaurant one day. His favourite electronic device is the Turkey iPod.

DAVE COLE (bass)
Dave Cole's solid reputation as a great bass player is well-deserved. Serious and focussed you'll occasionally see the cheeky glint in his eye that sums up his off stage personality. We really don't know much about Dave except that he moved to New York a couple of years ago then recently came back to Los Angeles. Fans of XUK are glad he did. Thanks to Dave, XUK is playing live again after a 21 month hiatus.

JOHNNY DEMARCO (electric guitar)
Johnny is known to many guitar players around the world as the demo artist with the blond ringlets who performs workshops and demos for Boss and Roland guitar pedals and products. His wild and energetic promo videos for the companies products have earned him a reputation as a prestigious "shredder" of the guitar and all-round crazy guy! But in performance with with XUK audiences get to see the finer side of Johnny's accomplished musical talent.

Robin Holden - (producer)
Robin not only produced and engineered XUK's debut double album "Love Hits ...like a cricket bat-out-of-hell" (gaining the 2006 DIY Producer of the Year Award in the process) but he also played bass, most of the drums and percussion, sang most of the backing vocals and some of the