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Barely out of their teens and Surrey 5-piece You Me At Six are already onto their third full length. A band that has made a name for themselves in pop rock, Sinners Never Sleep is meant to be the album that sees the boys ditch the label and head into heavier territory.
The linear notes of the album are testament to this. The album was produced by Gareth Richardson, who has worked with the likes of Biffy Clyro and Rage Against The Machine. Team that with cameos from Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes and Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall and you have got yourself a recipe for something heavier than pop rock can handle.
Sinners Never Sleep is a story of lust, love, anger and betrayal. The album opens with previously released single, ‘Loverboy’. The track has been described as the bridge between old and new You Me At Six, and it is definitely the closest reflection of anything on their previous releases. Full of bouncy guitar riffs, a singalong chorus, catchy bridges those boys do so well –not to mention a nice big section of “da-da-da”. It is a lot like the You Me At Six you have heard before, only different. Listen to the guitar breakdown and you will understand. Next track ‘Jaws On The Floor’ shows the lyrical shift the band has gone through this time around. With lines like “life’s a bitch, but I’m friends with her sister” the bitterness behind the lyrics and vocalist Josh Franceschi’s vocals are obvious. ‘Bite My Tongue’ is Franceschi’s chance to call out his fellow band mates surrounding the time when they all nearly called it quits. The song still comes nicely packaged with a singalong chorus, but the lyrics show an angrier, darker You Me At Six. The Oli Sykes cameo at the end of the track only adds to this feeling and ties into the sound nicely.
From here the album jumps between rock songs and (almost) ballads flawlessly. Their approach to this album is a lot different than their previous releases, but the style suits them well. They have finally captured a recorded sound that is a lot closer to their live energy.
‘Crash’ is the first big ballad of the album. It isn’t as catchy as their previous efforts (Opposites Attract or Tigers and Sharks for example) but it still displays just how comfortable You Me At Six are in this stripped back setting. Franceschi’s vocals sound smooth and deep and are accompanied perfectly by the rest of the band. ‘Time Is Money’ gets back to the heavier, upbeat nature of the record. The whole band sound angrier and heavier than anywhere else on the album. The vocal cameo from Winston McCall adds a new dynamic to the You Me At Six sound, it doesn’t hinder it or seem out of places but instead adds something new to the equation – if only briefly.
‘When We Were Younger’ closes out the album. It is a hauntingly, beautiful track, which sees the band reflecting on issues of the past. It is the longest track on the album, clocking in at over 6 minutes. This may seem like a strange way to finish the album but it is surprisingly satisfying. It demonstrates the overall feeling of the album, it is a lot more honest, truthful and heartfelt than anything You Me At Six has previously released.
The bounce and bop that propelled You Me At Six into the pop punk stratosphere with their previous releases has all but been forgotten. In it’s place stands the band that created Sinners Never Sleep, a band who sound a lot fuller, have gotten a lot angrier-and dare I say it- have done a lot of growing up. Teetering on the edge of destruction (refer to ‘Bite My Tongue’), You Me At Six were able to turn things around and through their survival they managed to write and produce what could very well be their best material to date.
2. Jaws on the Floor
3. Bite My Tongue (featuring Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon)
4. This Is the First Thing
5. No One Does It Better
6. Little Death
9. Time Is Money (featuring Winston McCall of Parkway Drive)
10. Little Bit of Truth
11. The Dilemma
12. When We Were Younger