You Me at Six - Take Off Your Colours
Record Label: Slam Dunk Records
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Surrey quintet You Me At Six have been causing quite a stir over the past 12 months, from supporting tour slots with metallers Bullet For My Valentine, to their own sell-out headline tours in the UK, without even releasing an album. So you're probably thinking "what's all the fuss about?" and "are they worthy of this rise from pretty much no where in little over a year?"
Well, I'd say yes. This is a band full of youthful enthusiasm and energy. Josh Franceschi (lead vocals) is still only 17 and the remaining four members are no older than 19 (Max Helyer - guitar & backing vocals, Chris Miller - guitar, Matt Barnes - bass and finally Dan Flint - drums and percussion). While the themes and topics on this full-length debut are all you'd expect of kids their age (girls, gossiping, and all the usual dramas of teenage life), I find Franceschi's lyrics sharp, cocky, and sarcastic, which in itself makes the record more absorbing than some of the rather cheesy and cringe-worthy poetry you'd associate with these genres.
As for the music, I have to applaud the band for the 'DIY' approach they've taken on the record in a day and age full of super slick, squeaky clean production. Whilst there are plenty of catchy hooks here, the guitars sound grittier and the bass lines thicker, honing a more meaty rock sound to compliment the pop sensibilities.
Things get going with the infectious opener, "The Truth Is A Terrible Thing." Meaty riffs, catchy melodies, and a sing-a-long chorus are all on the menu here, serving up an introduction to what you can expect on the majority this album. "Gossip" has enough '"woah's" to keep you going until next autumn, while "Call That A Comeback?" contains a filthy guitar pickup to accompany another rousing chorus that will urge you to hit the repeat button.
"Jealous Minds Think Alike" is one of the strongest tracks on the album. It is not unlike the the previous three tracks in terms of style and structure, however, it contains a fantastic chorus and killer outro that make it a standout. "Save It For The Bedroom" will no doubt be another crowd-pleaser at gigs for its riffs and instant sing-along's. The title track is another excellent offering with some chunky guitars and anthemic versus.
The second half of the album is more diverse that the first, starting with "You've Made Your Bed." This is a slowed down, self-aware, self-referential ode to an ex-girlfriend. It still contains a big chorus with some more "whoa's" thrown in for good measure. "Tigers And Sharks" is in a similar mold, with more intricate verses followed by a nice chorus ("everyone I loved has been swimming with the sharks and I don't know why") and some driving guitars to lead the middle section.
'If You Run' is another favorite. It contains more of a heavy, layered guitar sound (a mellow post-hardcore track if you will) while still containing the band's trademark killer chorus. "Always Attract" is the first and only ballad that always seems to get thrown in on these type of records. But make no mistake, this is no filler track. It's a slow, acoustic number which eventually leads to some big sounding guitars to accompany the duel vocals of Franceschi and his sister, Elissa, who guest features on the track.
"If I Were In Your Shoes" quickly re-establishes the album's pace with some killer guitar hooks before reaching what I feel, is the only genuine let down on the album, "Nasty Habits." It seems to lack the infectious chorus of the other tunes on offer and never really gets going. This for me could have easily been left out of the final track listing.
By the time you reach the climax of the rousing closer, "The Rumour," you feel as though you've listened to a very solid debut album by a young band with huge potential, if lacking in originality. As they get older and mature as songwriters and musicians, you genuinely feel the best is yet to come.
For some, you'll get the feeling you've heard this done before over and over. But ultimately, when the content is this addictive and enjoyable, why should it matter?
First..I started listening to this band a couple months back. Really good band, and great cd as well. The ballads are pretty boring but the faster songs are really good. My only complaint with the Cd is it should've been like 2-3 songs shorter, there seems to be a lot of filler songs. Good review and i would rate it around high 70's low 80's as well.
ps. I love the girls added vocals on always attract it fits perfectly
yeah great for absolutepunk to have this up as a review. so i've been following this band since my old band first played a show w/ them back in 06, i always wondered how they became so popular so fast but after listening to this record and hearing the songs i get a feeling for how in fact they've acheived this goal. They're a great band on record and live and their extensive touring has helped them immensely. i still can't fucking believe they sold out astoria...
I like a lot of the songs off here for big, unapologetic hooks but the total lack of originality, the pretty cringeworthy lyrics (at times), the lack of any really good musicianship, the overdone clone vocals, the album being way too long and the sheer amount of 'Whoas' in the album (see The Truth Is A Terrible Thing, Gossip, You've Made Your Bed, The Rumour) mean this is nowhere near an 81%. I enjoy the album and can see these flaws. I had enough whoas to last me a lifetime after that FTSK song, never mind after hearing this album.
That isn't mentioning that I prefer the demos of a couple of the songs as well, notably 'Save It For The Bedroom'. The album could have done without at least two songs (my picks are 'Tigers and Sharks' and 'Nasty Habits') but without them the album just becomes a collection of older songs that have been available and heard for at least a year, which even with 13 songs is still an issue as the older ones are the standouts.
I honestly quite like this album but objectively the rating is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too high.
To be honest i really liked this band before the album. I do respect the DIY approach to it but some of it is just not well produced. Songs like Gossip and The Rumour were better before. They're over-produced on the album and lifeless.