Surrey’s You Me At Six are one of very few bands whose general fanbase seems to age and grow along with them, maturing and writing music to cater to them through experiences they’re personally going through themselves. It’s an invaluable asset. Though debut ‘Take Off Your Colours’ was far from perfect, it certainley ticked all the right boxes for their teen pop-punk effort of that time in their lives. However, 2010’s ‘Hold Me Down’ came across as the band forcing themselves to grow up and mature, something that can’t be forced. It’s like the pre-adolescent teen whose voice kept breaking, who shaved despite having very few significant facial hairs. Undoubtedly the album possessed some great tunes, but for the most part it was an effort that seemed a little unfinished and lacking potential.
Fast-forward to 2011, and You Me At Six have created ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, the record that ‘Hold Me Down’ was meant and aspired to be. The band have finally matured and grown into the clothes they’d bought themselves a year prior, their balls have finally dropped and they have released what is the best album of their career thus far. ‘Loverboy’ fades us into the pop hooks that we’ve known them for, and nothing seems all that different from what we already know and expect from the quintet.
It’s not until track 3 where we see the new and grown-up YMAS, with ‘Bite My Tounge’ almost overshadowing all of the band’s previous efforts. The stacatto verses travel us along into the soaring chorus line, displaying an all around band that displays some aggression not quite seen before. This is only stamped firm and stapled into the soundscapes when Oliver Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon vocalist) comes in for the song’s bridge, bellowing “fuck you” through the speakers.
Other promising album highlights include ‘Little Death’ and ‘When We Were Younger’, the former including what could arguably be one of Josh Francheschi‘s strongest vocal performances yet, whilst the latter rings out the album in a haunting fashion, a seldom experience we go through with the band which takes a retrospect look at their lives today. There are also glimpses into YMAS of yore, with ‘Reckless’ and ‘Jaws On The Floor’ carrying those bouncy pop elements we’ve grown accustomed to from the band.
With ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, You Me At Six have gone and matured into band they aspired to be in their previous effort. Everything sounds more determined, some tracks sound almost anthemic, and they’ve wandered into places darker than they would’ve dared tread into before. Some may feel uneasy with some of their heavier work, and some may be confused with the somewhat uncertainty left with the direction they’ve taken to go. Regardless, You Me At Six have gone and put out an album they should be very proud of.
Written by Zach Redrup