You Me At Six - Sinners Never Sleep

A good four years after they first started turning heads in 2007, and You Me At Six are back with the famously “difficult” third album. Although “Sinners Never Sleep” is still recognizable as the work of the Surrey quintet, the fresh-faced naivety of the teenagers they once were has well and truly vanished. The somewhat sinister bassline of opener “Loverboy”, signifies that this record is headed in a different direction to both of its predecessors – but the You Me At Six that we came to know and love still shine through with one of the soaring, infectiously catchy chorus that they do so well.  “Jaws On The Floor” is nothing we haven’t seen before, but its punchy guitar riff and wry lyrics make it an overall good listen. “Bite My Tongue” is where the album appears to get interesting. Josh Franceschi hurls bitter lyrics over a cutting soundtrack, and is followed by Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon) as he growls over the last part of the track. The band take another successful gamble with Winston McCall’s (Parkway Drive) guest  vocal on “Time Is Money”, the intensity of which wouldn’t render it too out of place on a hardcore record.  Once a so-called pop punk band, perhaps now You Me At Six are a rock band in the making. However, what takes place between these two tracks ends up leaving the listener rather puzzled. The record seems to wander quite off course; “This Is The First Thing” sounds like a confusion of all the band’s influences, “No One Does It Better” is not in any way a bad song, but it doesn’t really go anywhere, and it’s difficult to ignore the fact that there has almost certainly been some musical recycling going on. But thankfully, the album manages to find its feet again with the effortless ballad, “Little Bit Of Truth”. If you were to shut your eyes whilst listening, it wouldn't be hard to envisage a roomful of people holding their lighters in the air. Now, is that trumpets I hear? Ah yes, of course it is. “The Dilemma” is a real highlight of the album; with an original, quirky melody, and Franceschi's strong vocals, it showcases the band’s talents – both in performing and in songwriting – at their best. While “Sinners Never Sleep” has not taken You Me At Six into a whole new dimension, it has, evidently, seen them mature a great deal. Somehow, the record has done the clever trick of neither going completely in one direction nor the other, but still taking steps towards something new and exciting for the band. It’s tricky to be sure where they’ll go from here, but for this band, it really does seem as though the only way is up.