Something unexpected tremendously executed
Harrison Smith
10:32 14th January 2021

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There’s a moment around thirty seconds in on ‘Nice To Me’, the opening track from You Me At Six’s new album SUCKAPUNCH, where something unexpected is tremendously executed. The uncompromising attitude of the band’s new direction is realised and with all things electronic now in favour, we are taken on a semi-nu-metal / disco rock flavoured journey; manoeuvering amongst the timely lyrical themes of damaging relationships, heartbreak and prominent middle fingers to all those who have doubted the band previously. 

Seven albums in, it's evident that You Me At Six still have a lot more to say. Fully loaded with personal tribulations and a desire to push themselves further SUCKAPUNCH feels like the musical embodiment of long hankered after redemption. Much like their contemporaries, You Me At Six have had to evolve to stay fashionable: "we need to show people why we’re still here”, says frontman Josh Franceschi. The cataclysmic blip now known as ‘2020’ appears to have boosted their desire to grow, adapt and encompass a barrage of new sounds and influences and Franceschi, whose voice retains it’s razor-like rasp, has stated that the group were keen to seek areas they had not dared before and that “sonically, there was no blueprint”. 

This inspired carte blanche adopted by the band offers an abundance of fresh ideas. ‘Beautiful Way’ explodes into a drum and bass backed chorus and the days are truly longed for where its bouncy feel soundtracks a sun-drenched festival mosh pit. The title track rides along a techno-like beat, calling to mind images of underground raves and album highlight ‘Kill The Mood’ tangos amongst a parade of descending guitars and velvety backing vocals demonstrating the variation of styles in which the group, now over a decade into their career, are capable of. 

Midpoint ballad ‘Glasgow’ frustratingly lacks the true emotive punch needed as a pitstop on such an upbeat and lively album, however, this absence of solemnity is certainly made up for with the bright single ‘Adrenaline’ which delivers a grand amount of fun and punch. Fans of their earlier work will be rewarded with ‘What It’s Like’ a track dripping with swagger and armed with a snake charmer sounding riff so slick you are baffled that this is the first time you’ve heard it. 

“We’ve grown up” guitarist Max Heyler says and that is showcased regularly throughout ‘SUCKAPUNCH’. You Me At Six appear to be relishing in a brave but thoroughly engaging new persona miles away from the pop-punk sound of the noughties. An astute move all things considered. 

SUCKAPUNCH arrives 15 January via AWAL Recordings.

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Photo: Press