Words: Tara Garman
You Me at Six return with their sixth studio album, the no-frills titled ‘VI’, which sees the band wielding their musical weapons in refreshing and fascinating ways as they permeate electronic influences into their classic rock sound. The Surrey five-piece re-enlist the help of producer Dan Austin, while also adding pop aficionado Eg White to the team, thus experimenting with unchartered musical territory.
Dynamic opener ‘Fast Forward’ commences the album with a deceptively coy synthesiser, before releasing the kraken that is the electric combination of Dan Flint’s drums and Chris Miller’s guitar. The boisterous rock track showcases Josh Franceschi’s stellar vocals in its epic chorus, kicking the album off with an exhilarating start that teases the bangers to follow.
The indie and pop influences can be seen speckled throughout the album – see the sprightly ‘Straight to my Head’ Meanwhile, synthesisers are utilised heavily on ‘Losing You’, with vocal distortion emphasising the album’s less rock-oriented musical influences.
‘I O U’, an album highlight, is a funky, bass-driven track that anticipates a chorus comprised of thundering drums and unrelenting guitar licks. Here, though the band wrong-foots the listener, as an unexpectedly louche bassline drapes the track in an effortlessly cool cloak, representing the confidence You Me At Six continually parade throughout the album.
‘IV’ is a thrilling diversion from the more straight-up rock of 2017 predecessor ‘Night People’. The band now merges genres confidently and coolly, creating carefree indie pop tracks, yet always reserving a seat for their rock band roots. As balancing acts go, they’ve played a blinder – it’s a pleasure to see them testing the limits of their sonic template, and impressive that they’re continuing to do so on their sixth album.