Release Date: Jan 27, 2014
Record label: Prospect Park
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk Metal, Punk-Pop
Review Summary: Neither cavalier, nor youthful enough to take YM@6 to the next level.Whatever your thoughts may be concerning English rockers You Me At Six, each of their previous full-length releases came with a purpose that was ultimately realized. 2008 debut 'Take Off Your Colours' placed the band on the map, being both fun and catchy, but also showing maturity and a knack for ambitious song structure. While generic and overly Americanized, follow-up 'Hold Me Down' beefed up their sound and gained the quintet a larger fanbase.
It’s no surprise to see You Me At Six face the tipping point of their career. With each of their previous albums, they’ve gained momentum and climbed chart spots. Every year, they find themselves further up festival bills. Towards the end of their ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ campaign, they headlined a sold out, one-off show at Wembley Arena.
Brit-rock fans are not unjustified in their complaints that their genre is ignored by the mainstream media. Even the biggest bands – with the puzzling exception of Biffy Clyro – struggle to get exposure outside the world of Metal Hammer and Thrash Hits. But if any group can achieve greater visibility, it's this Surrey fivesome, who incorporate the looks of a hairy boyband and the kind of fist-pumping choruses that made the Foo Fighters superstars.
You Me at Six have long used a simple yet effective method to their songwriting, turning tired idioms and phrases such as "Save It for the Bedroom," "If I Were in Your Shoes," and "Finders Keepers" into catchy pop-punk hits, and Cavalier Youth makes no bones about continuing this technique. The title of the lead single, "Lived a Lie," provides the lyrics to the singalong chorus, partnered with a typically soaring melody, and "Win Some, Lose Some" follows a similar unimaginative pattern. At their fourth release, You Me at Six find themselves at a somewhat pivotal point in their young music career; with three years between this record and 2011's Sinners Never Sleep, the British rock outfit have had plenty of time to grow and evolve, but they don't show much appetite to push the boundaries here.
For a hard rock band who have covered songs by Ellie Goulding and Jessie J, Surrey quintet You Me at Six are surprisingly short on idiosyncrasies. Their fourth album, all formulaic riffs, festival-friendly choruses and timeworn sentiments (Too Young to Feel This Old, Be Who You Are), is corporate alt-rock at its most pedestrian, the reflective Wild Ones the only song of note. "We are believers," they chant on last year's single Lived a Lie, in which they rebuke those who doubted their potential, but this set will convince few sceptics of their worth.
You Me At Six probably would be the first to tell you their last album, Sinners Never Sleep, suffered from severe personality disorder. (Let’s be real: Shoehorning in mosh calls from the likes of Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes was never this band’s forte.) Instead, on Cavalier Youth, the English quintet have focused on where their future lies: as full-blown rock stars. Cavalier Youth topped the UK album chart upon release, proving that while You Me At Six might not have the star power in the States, they’re certainly a household name in their home country.