Surrey rockers You Me At Six have spent the best part of the last 6 years being the darlings of the British rock scene, attacking their growing audience with an ensemble of heartfelt ballads and rhythm punched rock songs. The five piece gradually grew from an upcoming pop punk band with slabs of potential – to an arena filling juggernaut looking to spear-head British rock for the next decade.
2014’s UK number 1 album ‘Cavalier Youth’ saw the band step away from the darker tones found on 2011’s ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ (their best album) and instead become a more serious, albeit blander rock band looking to dominate our radio airwaves.
With ‘Night People’ however, it has become apparent that in the chase of bigger stardom, You Me At Six have seemingly lost a large sense of personality and diverted into a band with plenty of direction, but not enough fuel to reach their destination.
Opening and title track ‘Night People’ is most symbolic of this; with bluesy rock and roll tones and a lack of any real hook, it’s a far cry from pacey, energetic album openers to previous albums from the Surrey quintet – such as ‘Loverboy’ and ‘The Consequence’.
This lacklustre tone glooms over a majority of the whole record, with songs such as ‘Plus One’ and ‘Swear’ that strike as lifeless, uncreative attempts to get over with fans of alternative/indie music. It becomes abundantly clear that You Me At Six don’t sound at home here and even vocalist Josh Franceschi – who is usually the bands ace in the hole, doesn’t shine throughout a scarily large chunk of the album.
There are moments where ‘Night People’ manages to show a glimmer of hope for the quintet; both slow, ballad styled tracks ‘Take On The World’ and ‘Give’ while hardly reinventive or treading over new ground, do manage to strike a chord of emotion and will manage to fit in the bands’ live set well. While best song on the album ‘Brand New’ is a simple yet punchy three and a half minute blast that could have easily found a home on any previous album from You Me At Six.
‘Night People’ is an album that more than anything, comes across as a missed opportunity. The time has never been more ripe for a band to come along and truly grab British rock music by the scruff of the neck and shove it into the faces of people worldwide. You Me At Six have a fan-base sizeable enough to give them a chance of being that band, but musically; the ball has been well and truly dropped.
Review by Kristian Pugh