An Evolved Sound for an Ever Growing Band: A Review of You Me At Six’s SUCKAPUNCH

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This album definitely reflects the maturing sound that the band has been developing over the last 3 albums. SUCKAPUNCH is a great album showing just how much You Me At Six have grown!

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As one of Britain’s most prolific rock bands, You Me at Six had a lot to live up to with their 7th album, SUCKAPUNCH. They’ve brought us masterpieces over the last few years– Sinners Never Sleep (2011), Cavalier Youth (2014), Night People (2017) and VI (2018) to name a few… and SUCKAPUNCH lives up to its huge expectations. 

Although the band found fame at a young age, their sound has matured as they developed as both musicians and lyricists. Now age 30, lead vocalist and lyricist, Josh Franceschi admits “A lot of my lyrics were metaphorical middle fingers [when I was younger]. I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m older, I’m smarter and the music from the boys was so unique, I felt I had to flip my writing to match that.” As the band has grown up, so has their music. It is without a doubt that SUCKAPUNCH is about reflection and moving on. Furthermore, guitarist Max Helyer states that ”The aim was to blaze our own trail, not please other people” – they certainly are breaking generic boundaries. This album sees them shedding their indie-rock vibe for a dive into dance, R&B and hip-hop – a homage to their favourite genres of music.

As the lead single of the album, ‘Beautiful Way’ was a strong way to kick off and tease fans about what they had been up to in the 2 years since VI. This is by far the most beautiful song on the album and reinvents the earlier flare of the band’s music, giving it a new and welcome twist. Of course, the song is relatable in many ways, but the way in which Max’s guitar melody and Josh’s vocals are able to come together is stunning. Along with Daniel Flint’s punchy drum kick, this is a song definitely going to wake you up.

Another gem is ‘Voicenotes’. In regular You Me at Six fashion, there is always that one slow song on their album that is quintessential hits in the making and this is THAT song. Despite the band beginning this album straight after VI in 2018, this song is eerily fit for COVID-19 times. As we remain in uncertainty, You Me at Six’s song captures what it feels like to miss others, especially the voice of those we love; be it romantic partners, friends or family. As for the instrumental on this track, Max goes hard on his solo to show us just what he can do in a small section of the piece.

However, ‘Kill The Mood’ seems the odd one out. If it were on a different album, it might have been suited better to that record’s sound. Or maybe if it were on a movie soundtrack for a teen drama film or western – it would be perfect for that. There is nothing wrong with ‘Kill The Mood’ and in fact, it’s easily the most experimental song on the album, but it just sticks out like a sore thumb.

Overall, this is a solid album and You Me at Six should be proud of it. This may not be for all, but they remind us that great musicians are always developing their sound. You Me at Six are not done developing and that is how it should be!

SUCKAPUNCH will be out tomorrow via AWAL/Underdog Records. Check out ‘Beautiful Way’ down below.

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Buzzing like a busy bee as the live editor 2020/21. You will often find me asleep when I should be doing my English degree. Oops!

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