You Me At Six have come to the end of a slightly rocky road. It started with last year’s controversial record Night People, where mixed reviews and legal disputes very nearly brought an end to the indie band. Such difficulties might have finished off others, but instead of backing down, the Surrey five-piece locked themselves away to start afresh. They can hopefully finally relax now with the release of their sixth album - the imaginatively named VI.
They sought to reinvent their sound, and boy have they pulled it off. Easily spanning the indie rock genre, VI is a celebration of sounds and influences from across the board. Their mentality is summed up by no-one better than vocalist Josh Franceschi himself: “‘Back Again’ is quite a departure for us sonically. We took some risks... It’s a song, lyrically, about recovery, but not from vices. From feeling lost within yourself.” This summery track is also their latest single. They really channelled Justin Timberlake on this one, if ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ was a tad more downbeat.
‘Miracle in the Mourning’ has come just in time for October (the spookiest month): its darker rock theme makes it somehow feel ideal for the autumnal weather. It might just be a personal preference for heavier music, but this definitely is the top song on the album for me. ‘Fast Forward and ‘3AM’ were fans’ first taste of the new record, and they were impressive at the time. ‘3AM’ in particular could have gone very badly; repetitive bass lines can make a song grow stale, but Franceschi’s vocals carry this gritty track all the way though. Not content with sticking to their usual soft rock vibes, YMAS seem to dabble in some RnB sounds on this record. There’s a nod, accidental or deliberate, to Diana Ross in ‘Danger’. Meanwhile, ‘Losing You’ sprinkles some soul echoey drum beats into the indie track, to slow things right down for the album closer.
You Me At Six look like they’re back on track after a bit of a shocker. VI showcases the full catalogue of the band, from indie pop right the way to pure rock. And it couldn’t come at a better time too: VI has whipped up quite the hype just to coincide with the ten year anniversary of their breakthrough album Take Off Your Colours. 2018 is a fantastic year to be a You Me At Six fan, and this album cycle has barely even begun.
ALBUM RATING: 4/5