You Me At Six – Night People (Infectious)


English quintet You Me At Six are often described as “pop/punk”. But if the sound they make on this, their fifth album, sounds anything loosely resembling punk rock, I’ll eat my Ramones T-shirt.

Producer Jacquire King (Kings Of Leon/Foy Vance/Editors) has been brought on board to give the band a radio-friendly sheen, and this he does quite thoroughly.  Keep in mind, YMAS previous album, 2014’s Cavalier Youth did debut at number one on the UK chart.

The title track gets things underway with a big, Led Zeppelin-ish guitar riff, circa Physical Graffiti. Not a bad place to be. It’s a simple rocker with a stomping beat and a stadium-ready chorus of “whoa!, is this what you wanted, whoa!, is this what you need”.

I can hear it echoing in my head now.

Up next, Plus One is another rocker with a driving beat, but the multi-tracked vocal and slick production sounds more like second-tier 80s rockers…I’m thinking Night Ranger or Loverboy. The sound is heavy but toothless.

Heavy Soul slows down the pace and goes to the U2/Killers place. Its well-crafted pop-rock, just not very original. This one is the current single, and I can imagine it garnering quite a bit of airplay.

With Take On The World, vocalist Josh Franceschi ratchets up the earnestness meter, while bass player Matt Haines lays down a simple, throbbing line straight out of the U2 songbook.  Lyrically, its a classic “us against them” story, as Franceschi sings intensely, “Just say the word, we’ll take on the world”.  I can imagine the appeal…if I was 15 years old…but I’m far from it.

The second half of the album finds the group reaching for those stadium cheap seats time after time.

Spell It Out, with its moody, slightly ominous intro…building up to its inevitable sonic explosion…sounds very much like Aerosmith’s first hit Dream On, right down to the Steven Tyler howling.

As the last, chest-thumping notes of Give, the final track, die away, after Josh sings how he’s “been wasting all this time trying to keep you off my mind”, you realize that, quite possibly, your time has been wasted as well.

Marty Duda