You Me At Six were great servants to British pop-punk/pop-rock, with three giant records that culminated with The Final Night Of Sin at Wembley Arena in December 2012, which represented a huge victory for the scene and cemented a huge future for the Surrey boys. What followed was a transformation to a radio ready rock band that peaked at the top of the charts with their fourth full-length, ‘Cavalier Youth’. Yet, follow-up ‘Night People’ takes them even further from their roots as they work with indie rock specialist producer Jacquire King to create a solid pop album to appeal to the masses.
The band have always varied the tempo with their tracks, and, although they don’t go as hard as they used to, ‘Plus One’ is a fast-paced and anger-fuelled surprise, and the juxtaposition of it feeding into the slower yet hook generous ‘Heavy Soul’ works wonders for the album. The songwriting feels more natural on ‘Night People’ than it did on its predecessor, which relied on segments that were clearly written for the purpose of enticing crowds into bridge singalongs, but the ballads here are pretty pants and feel like they’ve been forced onto the album to make sure it cover all bases.
However great Franceschi‘s vocal melodies are, the issue stands that this You Me At Six don’t have the riffs that used to make them different to the rest of the pack. But, that side of the band is long gone now, and catchy choruses are the aim of the game for these radio rock bands, which you get in abundance on ‘Night People’. The title-track is The Black Keys in disguise, and ‘Swear’ triggers that ear worm purely through the vocal performance.
There won’t be many people out there surprised at the tone of the record, ‘Cavalier Youth’ was a clear precursor to the start of this second phase of You Me At Six, and the band are still much more tolerable than a vast amount of their contemporaries in the same scene attempting to do the same thing, but their drift away from the scene that they once ran is hard to take.
Thankfully, they’ve got their feet firmly enough on the floor that they regularly return to club venues to play older material, and more recently are using the platform of their success to be a voice against ticket touts and other cancers swelling on and draining the vitality of the music industry. So huge congrats for the fame and accomplishments, but just never forget where you came from.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)