You Me At Six
It’s a brilliant thing when you are able to witness the growth of a band from the very beginning. Not just the growth in age but also in terms of talent, experience and popularity and that is something I have been able to do with You Me At Six. What’s even more rewarding is that the growth has been set against albums that have got better and better to the point where you could easily, in 2014, class the band as one of the biggest and most important alt-rock bands of recent times.
From the minute the album opens with ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’ this sounds like a more mature version of the band, one comfortable in their own skin with their own sound. This one is a rock track with a huge feel to it from the soaring guitars, big drums and the brilliant vocals of lead singer Josh Franceschi. There’s sing along choruses, a brilliant rhythm and wonderful melodic hooks littered throughout, you could almost describe this track as an anthem for those in their twenties feeling the same about life as the band currently are.
Singles ‘Lived A Lie’ and ‘Fresh Start Fever’ both hark back to the sound found on previous effort ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ with the heavier edge. Both contain dirty riffs and chugging guitars, pounding drums, threatening tones especially through the vocals and prominent bass lines. Though both also contain an abundance of energy which will surely translate itself perfectly when played live with those catchy melodies and chanting vocals of ‘we are believers, we are believers’ found on ‘Lived A Lie’.
‘Room To Breathe’ features a bunch of riffs worthy of Foo Fighters that open this in a truly epic nature alongside huge pounding drums before slow tuneful vocals come in. It’s easily one of the best tracks on the album featuring a good mix of today’s alt-rock/hardcore sensibilities and classic rock sounds brilliantly showcasing the band’s strengths musically.
The menacing punk sounds of ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ with dirty bass and deep guitar is still made accessible to all through the melodic pop tinged choruses and the pre-final chorus lyrics of ‘get away, get away, get away from me!’ just asking to be screamed back by crowds. While the graduating guitar chords that kick off ‘Cold Night’ takes things back down to a calmer note. Vocals ebb and flow gently alongside intricate guitar creating big, swirling sounds and there is a wonderful atmosphere throughout from emotional lyrics and big, sweeping moments.
‘Love Me Like You Used To’ is all crashing drums and cymbals, a high pitched guitar and authoritive vocals; this whole track is one that commands your attention from the very first chords to the very last. Though it’s the fast guitar, heavy drums, build up’s to huge choruses and teenage anthem-esque lyrics are bound to make ‘Carpe Diem’ a favourite with fans and casual listeners alike.
Finishing up with ‘Wild Ones’ and it’s soft vocals, gentle tones and intricate melodies. This could easily become the anthem of ‘Cavalier Youth’ with lyrics looking at life, love and everything in between and an almost epic sounding final chorus. Gang vocals of ‘are we going to live forever’ finish the track and album and it just seems pretty perfect.
The band has clearly worked hard refining all aspects of their sound and honing their skills to create something perfect which has really paid off. This is by far the strongest body of work the band have created to date, ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ was brilliant but in certain parts they weren’t truly fulfilling their potential. Here they have, it’s a well-rounded album that contains big rock moments and sing-along classics. Surely this is the album that will always be a gem in their back-catalogue and cement YMAS’ place in music history.
Check out the band’s single ‘Fresh Start Fever’ below: