ALBUM REVIEW: You Me At Six – Suckapunch

Release Date: January 15th 2021
Label: Underdog Records/AWAL Records
Website: www.youmeatsix.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/youmeatsix
Twitter: www.twitter.com/youmeatsix

Rating:

With over a decade and six albums under their belts, You Me At Six have refined their blend of radio-friendly choruses and tightly written hooks to a fine point. With one stylistic reinvention already behind them, ‘Suckapunch’ sees the quintet embrace a new chapter in their sound, one that gathers industrial soundscapes, synth heavy textures, and hints of garage rock to create one of the strongest records in the group’s collection.

Opening up with ‘Nice To Me’, shimmering synths sit atop sleazy riffs as Josh Franceschi‘s commanding vocals drive the track towards its climatic conclusion. Filled with bursts of distortion and fuelled by a punk energy, the track sets the tone for the record.

Building on the energy of its predecessor, ‘MAKEMEFEELALIVE’ delivers an urgent and furious take on punk rock. Showing an biting energy that is seldom seen in the group’s latter releases, guitarists Max Helyer and Nick Miller pull the focus from the synth heavy sound that is a key component of ‘Suckapunch’.

Following on from the radio-friendly ‘Beautiful Way’, the band dive into various levels experimentation with brilliant results. Whether it’s the trap exploring ‘WYDRN’, the gloomy ‘Glasgow’, or the electro rock stomp of the title track, You Me At Six pull off their new sound without sounding contrived.

After a strong middle, the record hits a slight lull with Adrenaline and ‘Voicenotes’, before picking things back up when the emotionally raw and sweeping ‘Finish Whilst I Started’ takes the reigns. Boasting a huge chorus and building on a jittering energy, it ultimately overshadows closer ‘What’s It Like’, and with this genre bending conclusion, You Me At Six have delivered a record that pushes their sound further than expected.

Filled with hook heavy choruses, a fearless approach to influence, and maintaining a delicate balance between sweeping electronica and driving garage rock, ‘Suckapunch’ is the beginning of an exciting fresh start for the group who admittedly succumbed to a few missteps in recent years. Whilst it may not be perfect or ground breaking, it certainly signals the sound of a renewed and invigorated You Me At Six.