You Me At Six – Suckapunch
Released: January 15th, 2021
Josh Franceschi | vocals
Matt Barnes | bass
Dan Flint | drums
Max Helyer | guitars
Chris Miller | guitars
You Me At Six are back to start off the New Year with some fresh pop punk to treat us all. With their last record having been released in 2018, it’s nice to have some fresh tunes from the Brits that we’ve loved for many a year now. Having been a fan myself since I was a teenager, it’s interesting to hear how the music has changed throughout the years and seeing the growth that has also happened during that time as well. I can say that I was definitely excited to hear this album as I really didn’t know what to expect since their last release was something so different and normally when a band do that, they either continue to explore new avenues and sounds or go back to the similar sound that they’ve always been known for.
‘Nice to Me’ is the opening track to this release and it’s definitely a strong opener, with the guitar being the only thing to be playing for the first few seconds with quite a catchy riff, almost simulating the way that a live performance would be played, having just one instrument playing a catchy riff until everything all comes together, building into the full song. The track is full of that familiar rock based anthem nostalgia that you’d expect to hear when you think of You Me At Six, and it’s definitely one that I really enjoy and it does bring that feeling of making me envision being at a concert and watching the band playing in front of me with a crowd that fills a venue. It’s one of those songs that I really wish I could describe as to why I really enjoy it, but it’s not something that can be described, it’s just something that is felt, and it sounds vague, I know, but since we can’t currently go out — to all of those who listen to this record, just try closing your eyes, putting down your phones and social media and just listening to it. Take memories of past concerts and piece it together in your mind and then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
‘MAKEMEFEELALIVE’ is next up and honestly I just don’t really like this song much at all. It’s catchy and the guitar riff is incredible, that’s what makes it so catchy — but pretty much the entire song is being yelled and I just feel like it doesn’t work, and the ending of the track is so sudden and distorted that I remember the first time I heard it when it was released as a single last year, I actually freaked out thinking that something had happened to my phone. It’s such a short song compared to every other which is at least 3 to 4 minutes in length and with such a sudden ending, it really seems so out of place and doesn’t have any cohesion, especially since its the second track.
‘Beautiful Way’ follows on and this is again, another familiar rock sound that the band are known for producing but it’s so good. It’s one that I will always be singing along to when I hear it come on and having a dance no matter what I’m doing or where I am, it’s also one of those tracks that’s definitely going to get stuck in my head for the next week, no matter what other music I listen to in between.
Now I’m not going to talk about every track that’s on this record, because let’s face it, you all need a little bit of mystery to the album but the next one that I do want to talk about is the title of the release itself, ‘Suckapunch’. This. This is a special song. When I first listened to this record as a whole, I actually didn’t look at any of the track names, I just listened blindly and I was immediately drawn in to this, feeling that similar nostalgia that I spoke about earlier and I am by no means saying that I want to go back and live in their Underdog days style of music, but this is almost an evolved, grown up version of it. It’s a slow build to a peak that sets the tone for the chorus and then having that slow build to the peak again. A bit like the highs and lows of a rollercoaster that excites you and I just feel like it works so well in this track. Sometimes a 5 minute long song can feel like a bit much, but I will be honest in saying that when listening to this, I actually didn’t realise that this was one of the two that were five minutes, it still kept my attention and made me feel good the whole time.
‘What’s It Like’ is the closing track to the album and I personally have always loved this song. It has previously been released as a single, and this one was always just been a combination of dance and rock but in a way that doesn’t sound awkward, weird or confused, it just is a blend of the two genres in such a way that creates something interesting that I haven’t really ever heard from You Me At Six before.
All in all, I will say that I do feel a little torn on this record. I know I haven’t talked about every track that there is, but for some of them I felt that they were enjoyable but there wasn’t much to say, it was just that — enjoyable. I do however feel that this album shows how far the band have come, bringing back their sound from their earlier days but in a much more mature and reimagined way, but you can still hear hints of their newer style that they have experimented with in past releases such as the one before. It is in no means a bad thing, I think it actually works out really well for them as they’ve found a happy medium between the old and the new, which will not only potentially bring in new listeners, but regain some of the ones who grew up listening.
You Me At Six — Suckapunch tracklisting:
1. Nice To Me
3. Beautiful Way
6. Kill The Mood
10. Finish What I Started
11. What’s It Like