Cavalier Youth – You Me At Six

The Surrey quintet continue on the mission to find their sound on their fourth album; Cavalier Youth.

You Me At Six’s sound has constantly been changing since their début album ‘Take Off Your Colours in 2008; with their last album ‘Sinners Never Sleep taking the darker music route, which many pop-punk bands have been trying to do recently. With Cavalier Youth the band has stepped away from those dark themes and have taken their music to a place which slightly mimics their second album ‘Hold Me Down’, along with a new place which regrettably is more indie-rock sounding.

you_me_at_six_cavalier_youthThe album’s opener, ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’, is definitely a great song as it warms you up to the beginning of the record, with a calming guitar riff that would fit nicely into any song on Hold Me Down. However once we have been welcomed, and – lead singer – Josh Franceschi’s vocals pour in, something seems slightly odd. It’s not that the singer’s voice is somewhat different, because his vocals have been constantly changing throughout his career; it’s that his voice sounds so different in that first verse that I thought it was a different band playing. Thankfully the rest of the track, especially the breakdown, sounds like classic You Me At Six; and has opened up the album on a high note.

‘Lived A Lie’ was the first single that was released from Cavalier Youth, and was also what gave me the first clue that they were, although still a rock band, moving more over to the Indie side of things. Don’t get me wrong it is an enjoyable song, and one which I am sure will get a great reaction from a live crowd; but it just did not sound like one of their tunes. In a way it did scream You Me At Six in every way possible, but something just appeared to be missing and it is so hard to put my finger on what it was. It is not a bad song though, and Lived A Lie does fit in with this album well.

I am trying in the hardest way to not make this sound like the only reason I am slightly disappointed with this album is because it is more indie-rock themed, because that is not the reason. I just think that the band – completed by Max Helyer on guitar, Chris Miller on guitar, Dan Flint on drums and Matt Barnes on bass – were able to do so well in their own genre – whether that be pop-punk or rock – that there is no need for them to try to change that. Why not carry on down the same road that they already know and improve on that, rather than changing genres.

As the album proceeds onwards we get a feel for the sound of the songs, and if there is one song that sums up the entire album it would be ‘Fresh Start Fever’; the second single released from Cavalier Youth. It is a heart-pounding, fist-pumping, lung-screaming anthem that is going to get a tremendous sing-a-long at the band’s live shows. From the dramatic piano opening, through the foot-tapping chorus and to the climax the song just keeps on giving and never lets up. It is a power ballad all the way.

However much the band want a sound that comes across as more mature, there are always going to be aspects of their original material found in their albums; and ‘Room To Breathe is an example of that. With its raw guitar riff and Franceschi’s rough shouting vocals, this track sounds like a sequel to the likewise sounding ‘Tigers and Sharks’ from Take Off Your Colours. It is obvious that the band want to show that they have grown up, and Cavalier Youth shows that; but it is great that they still bring some of the same sound from the songs that got them their first group of followers.

Just as the previous track takes the listeners back to the earliest of the band’s work, ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ enters the album with a dark melodic guitar riff that mirrors the songs of Sinners Never Sleep, in fact the entire song could fit right into place on that record. The next couple of songs, including tracks ‘Hope For The Best’ and ‘Love Me Like You Used To’, simply portray what it is that the band do best; write thought-provoking lyrics, catchy tunes and fast-paced choruses that will have their fans singing at the top of their lungs in their bedrooms.

‘Be Who You Are’ shows a completely different side to the band, older fans will know that Franceschi has always sang songs from his heart and has no problem letting people know that. However this track sounds too much like a pop song, and I generally have a problem with interludes. When I purchase an album by a band I really like and in the middle of the tracks there is an instrumental song, it riles me up a bit because I would much rather have a full-length song by the band that I can sing along to.

ymas-promos-011-webhighresAfter the album took a slight detour from what I would call ‘You Me At Six music’, it gets back on track with the penultimate song on the record, ‘Carpe Diem’. As with the album opener the song draws you in with a comfortable catchy guitar riff – along with the drums and vocals. It is just an enjoyable easy-listening song which urges you to want to get up and dance, all the way through the choruses and up to the very end. Carpe Diem has been so well placed on the track-listing just as ‘The Dilemma’ was at the end of Sinners Never Sleep, they both pick their albums up from previous grim feeling songs.

Cavalier Youth ends in a way that appears to be tradition on a You Me At Six album; at least from the last three albums. It concludes with the same deep slow-toned sound on ‘Wild Ones’ which, just as ‘Fireworks’ and ‘When We Were Younger’ did on the preceding albums, looks at a topic quite close to the singer’s heart. In the past he has sung about letting the one you love be free and wanting your parents to be proud of you, once again on Wild Ones the topic is love; and it appears to be about the way you feel when you are with that special person.

It would have been easy to have just listened to this album by one of my favourite bands and said everything that I liked about it, but there were just too many weak points; and with there being such high anticipation surrounding the release of this album, it really needed to be more of a hard hitter that blew everyone away.

People keep saying that on Cavalier Youth You Me At Six have finally found their sound, personally I think their sound was found a long time ago…and hopefully sometime soon they will go back to it.

Cavalier Youth is out now.

Listen to: Fresh Start Fever, Love Me Like You Used To and Carpe Diem.

The full track-listing is as follows:

Too Young To Feel This Old

Lived A Lie

Fresh Start Fever

Forgive And Forget

Room To Breathe

Win Some, Lose Some

Cold Night

Hope For The Best

Love Me Like You Used To

Be Who You Are

Carpe Diem

Wild Ones

Sinners Never Sleep – You Me At Six

Surrey five-piece return with a power they had once only dreamed of.

When You Me At Six announced that they were writing their follow-up to their 2010 album ‘Hold Me Down’, it was an instant assumption that it would be a rushed album due to the timing schedule; and like so many others would be not their best work. However this was not the case at all.

You_Me_At_Six_Sinners_Never_Sleep_489060849‘Sinners Never Sleep’ has shown that the boys can take different approaches to music and still create the same end result as they did with their previous albums, ‘Take Off Your Colours’ in 2008 and Hold Me Down in 2010. With songs like ‘Crash’ and ‘When We Were Younger’ vocalist Josh Franceschi has shown his feelings through lyrics once again, as he did with ‘Fireworks’ from Hold Me Down; but this time he has taken it one step further. He isn’t singing about past girlfriends anymore, with lyrics like “when I was younger, I never thought. That when I was older, I’d see you give up” and “when I was younger, I only dreamed, that when I got older you’d be proud of me” shows him singing passionately for his family and how he wants to impress them.

There is still the fan-favourite songs with catchy hooks such as ‘This Is The First Thing’ and ‘Reckless’; which will be playing around in your mind for weeks after. The album also once again has guest vocals on ‘Bite My Tongue’ from ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ frontman Oli Sykes, which really is nothing new on the guest vocals front, however that does not take away the fact of this being a powerful song which will surely get the crowd moving when performed live. The variation between types of tracks show how much these five lads have grown over the years, they have put the effort in, played their best and sung their hearts out; and it’s all paying off.

If You Me At Six keep on creating these inspiring albums, then who knows where they will be in 10, 20 years time. The way things are looking Josh Franceschi could soon become one of greatest lyricists of our generation.

Sinners Never Sleep is out now.

Listen to: Bite My Tongue, This Is The First Thing and Reckless.

The full track-listing for the album is as follows:

Loverboy

Jaws On The Floor

Bite My Tongue feat. Oli Sykes

This Is The First Thing

No One Does It Better

Little Death

Crash

Reckless

Time Is Money feat. Winston McCall

Little Bit Of Truth

The Dilemma

When We Were Younger