They might be gearing up for the release of their third album, but You Me At Six are actually barely out of their teens. Initially a straight up pop punk band, their new LP ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ has been billed as the album where they ditch the genre completely and move into Foo Fighters territory. Have they? Well, there are more ballads, there are more rockers and there are definitely a lot more riffs…
You’ve all heard this one. The band have described it as a bridge between the new and old, and it’s certainly the closest thing to ‘Hold Me Down’ on the album. A big bouncy riff, super hummable chorus and those amazing catchy bridges that You Me At Six do so well are all on display here.
Jaws On The Floor
A punchy second track, which keeps the early pace of ‘Loverboy’ going. Built around a sledgehammer of a guitar riff, the track also showcases the step up that the band’s frontman Josh Franceschi has made lyrically. One minute he’s taunting us, the next he’s being wry with lines like “Life’s a bitch, but I’m friends with her sister”.
Bite My Tongue
This is the track that has set tongues wagging, with Josh delivering a scathing lyrical attack on his bandmates and documenting a dark time that nearly saw the Surrey band implode. “I wanna hate every part of you with me, but I can’t hate the ones who made me”, he hisses over a biting soundtrack. It also ends with a raucous cameo from Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes, who growls and spits over the last minute of the track, literally bellowing ‘Fuck you!’ over a super heavy riff. We’re a long way from ‘Jealous Minds Think Alive’ now.
‘Bite My Tongue’ is also the title of the band’s documentary of how they avoided implosion. Thank God they didn’t.
This Is The First Thing
Some soothing sugar after the barbed ‘Bite My Tongue’, this is more in the vein of the latter tracks of ‘Hold Me Down’, with a swelling chorus paying homage to a long gone teenage romance.
Nobody Does It Better
A proper big ass ballad, with gentle melancholy guitars and a full on crooning chorus. They’d never dared do this a year ago, but it’s a sign of how far they’ve come as songwriters that they totally pull it off.
Again we’re in soaring chorus territory, albeit with a little bit more bite behind it. Split between a minimal verse with just a basic guitar strum and an absolutely massive chorus, this is an audition for arenas if ever there was one.
Another ballad, with added strings this time and more lyrical lost love. You know that moment in a teen flick where the boy realizes he’s been really stupid? This is what will be playing in background from now on.
After the ballads comes the welcome return of the bounce and a bit of vintage early Brand New-esque cockiness, with Josh lyrically taunting someone throughout with a pre chorus hook of “Don’t hold your breath, I’m not losing sleep over you”.
Time Is Money
It gets heavy again now, especially with a crushing guest appearance from Parkway Drive frontman Winston McCall coming in halfway through. Without the softness of Franceschi’s vocals, this could almost be a hardcore track.
Little Bit Of Truth
Back to the ballads now and a seriously slushy number. Stirring strings compliment a heart-swelling guitar pattern to create a song that could easily be Snow Patrol (yes, really). This will be the lighters (or mobile phones realistically) in the air moment when they play live.
This one is a bit bizarre. It starts with a weird, Cockney knees up preamble and Josh telling us he’s about to “Tell us all a story about a boy and a girl”. It soon gives way to a super catchy riff and earworm of a chorus though.
When We Were Younger
A brooding end to the album, with a slow burning guitar sound building gradually as Josh addresses old issues and scores over the top. Clocking in at over 6 minutes long, it’s a odd way to end the album, but strangely satisfying too.
The pop punk bounce that propelled ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ and ‘Gossip’ is well and truly gone, with a much fuller, meatier and dare I say it, more grown up sound in its place. Kids who were hoping they’d be another New Found Glory and turn into pop punk footsoldiers will be disappointed, but those who believe in the band and want to grow with them will totally love it.