As I open this glossy, new CD case and place the disc in my laptop, an air of anticipation rushes over me. Upon hearing the rumours that You Me At Six had been a little more experimental on their third release, ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, I couldn’t help but worry slightly. However as the album slowly unfolds, it is clear that [email protected] has come a long way since ‘Take Off Your Colours’ in 2008.
‘Sinners Never Sleep’ is their third full length album and seems to show potential right from the outset. The band has evidently tried to maintain that catchy pop punk sound that has brought them so much success up to now. This shines through on their first track ‘Loverboy’, championing a delightful mix of Josh Francheschi’s upbeat vocals and bluesy guitars. Despite the sinister sounding name, ‘Little Death’ is atmospheric with a chorus that can send a chill down your spine and raise the hairs on your neck. These qualities are maintained throughout other tracks such as ‘Reckless’ and ‘Dilemma’. You can’t help but salute [email protected]’s ability to write material that is both exciting and diverse.
Musical diversity is always encouraged, but it is easy to cross the line into alienation. Unfortunately this is something [email protected] has struggled with on this album. Collaborations on ‘Bite my Tongue’ with Oli Sykes (Bring me the Horizon) and ‘Time is Money’ with Winston McCall (Parkway Drive) brings a confusing and disjointed feel to the album. The experimental fusing of pop punk and hardcore sadly doesn’t mix well. At the other end of the spectrum, it feels as if the band has played it too safe, resulting in tracks such as ‘Crash’ sounding indistinct and even lacklustre. The album finishes with 6 minute slow piece, ‘When We Were Younger’, which brings a disappointing and slightly depressing end to what should be a triumphant release.
I would hesitate to rate ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ as the songs continue to grow on you even after giving the album its tenth listen. However, it would be difficult to see how the slightly slower and less upbeat songs could contend with older and more cheerful anthems such as ‘Save it for the Bedroom’ or ‘Stay with Me’, particularly when performing live. With all this said, you can’t help but feel that [email protected] is really trying to engage with their fans here. On ‘Little Bit of Truth’, vocalist Josh sings “I want to write a song that makes you smile, one that keeps you around for a while”. Whilst this may not their best all-round album to date, it has the potential to produce some real classics that will keep their fans satisfied for the distant future.