by Cameron Watson
Finally, after three years of waiting, we have an adrenaline fuelled kick-start to 2017 in the form of ‘Night People’ by You Me At Six.
It is the fifth studio album from the English rock band and, after being a fan since 2008’s ‘Take Off Your Colours’, You Me At Six have still managed to keep me hooked as ‘Night People’ is certainly a hit for me.
From the outset, you can tell that they have obviously matured a lot over the years as their sound is no longer happy with tongue-in-cheek lyrics but instead heavier with deeper, more meaningful lyrics whilst still maintaining an upbeat nature.
The best way to describe the majority of the 10-track album is heavy, with huge guitar riffs and big drum beats focusing front and centre, leading to a powerful sound that you can’t help but instantly head bang to. Rock music can often sound very samey which is one of the drawbacks of the genre; however, each song stands out beautifully on the album with each being an instant hit. I would not be surprised to see the band play their newest hits on the festival circuit this summer.
The album opens with the title song ‘Night People’. This is the one that you’ve likely heard on the radio as it was initially released in August 2016 and brings a punchy, thumping start to the album. Opening with a distorted cry of the chorus then into a stomp/clap beat accompanied by a heavy guitar, the album starts how it means to go on. Although not completely rich in its lyrics, it definitely isn’t made to have an emotional message, but simply to be chanted in a sweaty mosh pit on a summer’s afternoon and in that respect, it’s bloody good!
‘Take on the World’ is a stand-out track due to its incredibly soft and contrasting nature in comparison to the rest of the album’s material. The song opens with frontman Franceschi quietly singing over a delicate guitar before building up to be a strong, emotive and modern rock ballad. The lyrics tell the story of a couple, with Franceschi explaining he would do anything for his partner, exclaiming: “Nobody knows you the way that I know you/Look in my eyes I’ll never desert you”. The song builds throughout with layered guitars and backing vocals before finally erupting into a choral “ohhh”. Although it does nothing to detract from the power of the song, I feel a band who has been around for over a decade could have found a better climax to the song.
‘Swear’ continues the heavy sound throughout the album. A crash of drums and a huge guitar riff opens the song before the bass comes in to set the tone. This then collides into a head-banging chorus and will no doubt be the song that people will sing loudly at festivals. The lyrics tell the story of a guy who no longer cares for a past friend’s opinion, with Franceschi singing: “Well this is my town/Word gets around/And I don’t think you have a hideout” before asking his opponent: “Who really wants to hear the sound/That comes out of your mouth?” It is a relentless track that is personally my favourite due to the epic breakdown after the second chorus, which takes me back to every mosh pit I have ever been in.
The biggest surprise however was in the second last song ‘Spell it Out’, it is the biggest departure from the band’s traditional style and works beautifully. It begins with a dark, unnerving atmosphere and a gentle guitar riff, with drums then thudding rhythmically while layered distorted guitars build before hitting the climax that results in a truly hard-hitting instrumental before creeping out the way it began.
Overall, the album is full throttle from beginning to end and takes no prisoners. The band has shown that over the ten years they have been around they can still surprise and delight listeners with a sound that is still You Me At Six however feels more advanced. It is loud, lively, and eerie at times but mostly just a thrill ride of a journey.