Friday, 16 September 2011

You Me At Six - Sinners Never Sleep

You Me At Six have steadily grown in popularity since the release of debut album Take Off Your Colours and then further more with its follow up, 2010’s Hold Me Down, as well as the in-between albums single, “Rescue Me”, featuring uh...Chiddy Bang (whoever that is?!).

There were rumours that Sinners Never Sleep was to be a heavier affair than the previous two record that had seen You Me At Six lumped in some pop-punk, emo category, unfairly the band had said. Sinners Never Sleep isn’t heavier though, in fact, it is probably softer and almost more ballad(y) than previous effort Hold Me Down. Lead single “Loverboy” is You Me At Six by numbers, with hints of a rock attitude in the guitar but with singer Josh Franceschi predictably drawing his female fans to sing-a-long with the type of anthemic chorus that the band have tried and tested so often that they have it down to a tea now. “This Is The First Thing” and “Crash” are your stereotypical slow dredges of American soft rock, we’ve heard this all before, boy is emotionally hurt, so boy writes song about it and musically it is so middle ground, so Wind-up Records meets well, Simple Plan, how very unimaginative and contrived.

There are sparks when you think “Yes, this is it, they've got it”. There is a cracking guitar riff on “Time Is Money” that recalls the southern blues sound of perhaps Every Time I Die, but even that is spoilt by a From Autumn To Ashes (or A Day To Remember if you are looking for a more recent reference) breakdown that shows clearly that at this point in their careers, You Me At Six don’t know who they want to be.

To put it simply, if you liked the first two albums, you will probably love this. If you expect more from music, avoid because this is nothing new.

2.5 / 5
Remember Remember - The Quickening

From the record label of Mogwai, Rock Action Records (A label that I thought was only for the distribution of Mogwai’s albums until now) come Remember Remember and their second album “The Quickening”.

Very much like Mogwai, Remember Remember have their feet firmly dipped in the post-rock side of music remaining on this release at least, vocal-less. Focusing on one melody, they entwine others, throwing in every instrument including the kitchen sink at times building a wall of sound, but unlike their contemporaries (Explosions In The Sky, etc), they do not build to predictable crescendo’s nor do they achieve this through the use of meandering beautiful guitar lines. Tracks like “Hey Zeus” and “One Happier” achieve this sense of originality with classical sensabilities, more eager to rely on violins and pianos rather than drums and guitar, while songs like “Ocean Potion” are drenched in an Asian influence with sweet xylophone-like sounds recalling Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield.

It would be easy to lump Remember Remember with a whole host of bands, Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, maybe Sigúr Rós and even Battles in part but that is where Remember Remember seem to be ahead of the game, using a whole host of the mainstays of a strange genre and mixing them with a more classical use of music to create something not only original and worth listening to, but at the same time, a wonderful collection of inspiring songs.

4 / 5