You Me At Six vocalist Josh Franceschi has been surprisingly candid about the band’s previous full-length, ‘Night People’. He admits the follow up to the band’s mainstream breakthrough ‘Cavalier Youth’, was not exactly what they had in mind. Their ascension, he asserts, was blocked by the unambitious industry with which they surrounded themselves.
The aptly-titled ‘VI’ therefore arrives as more than just their sixth full-length. It’s a reaffirmation of You Me At Six as a band, and a deliberate effort to reclaim their own sound. Rousing opener ‘Fast Forward’ and the pop-infused ‘3AM’, released as a pair in the build up to the release, already showcase two of the three sides You Me At Six have either honed or adopted for ‘VI’. The other arrives in the driving minimalism of much of the latter half. The likes of ‘IOU’ inject a certain confident swagger not before seen in the band’s repertoire.
And it’s this confidence that defines ‘VI’, an audible assertion of their newfound clarity. Although You Me At Six are at their most powerful in their heavier moments, not least in the melodic brilliance of the opening trio of songs, their attitude remains on the more stripped back instrumentation later on. What before has been interpreted as arrogance now finds its rightful home.
In a year that is still to see You Me At Six perform their much-loved debut ‘Take Off Your Colours’ in full, ‘VI’ not only recaptures but reinvents the magic that has propelled them to be one of the UK’s most successful rock outfits of recent times. It may not have the depth of some of their counterparts, but it easily makes up for it with refreshing, confident fun.