You Me At Six – Truth Decay (Album Review)
You Me At Six – Truth Decay
Released: February 10th, 2023
Josh Franceschi // Vocals
Max Helyer // Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Chris Miller // Lead Guitar
Matt Barnes // Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Dan Flint // Drums
2023 is already shaping up to be a great year for music, especially in the pop-punk and rock genres. One of the biggest and best names across both of those genres is English 5 piece You Me At Six, and after a stellar 2021 with the release of SUCKAPUNCH, the boys are back this year with Truth Decay.
The record kicks off with ‘Deep Cuts’ which is both a great name for a song, and a great way to start off Truth Decay. The guitar riff has a little bit of a Franz Ferdinand vibe to it, but the electronic and drums intro smooths that out. The reason for the title, at least in my opinion, is rooted in the lyric ‘I know that you would be better off alone’ which probably isn’t something anyone would want to hear, but sometimes you need to. Overall it’s a great opener. ‘Mixed Emotions (I Didn’t Know How To Tell You What I Was Going Through)’ is next up, and in the video for it, Josh Franceschi has said ‘We wanted to challenge the stigma that surrounds toxic masculinity & why does it plague so many households & so many relationships. It’s not always easy to tell someone what it is you’re going through but It is paramount to try. Trying to understand each other’s differences, trying to grow & trying to exhibit more empathy.” It quickly became one of my all-time favourite YMAS songs upon my first listen, lyrically and musically it’s just a beautiful track, and Franceschi’s vocals are so emotive and passionate that it’s full of feels.
The opening guitar riff on ‘God Bless The 90’s Kids’, gives off very strong pop-punk vibes and I’m not at all mad about it. It’s very much a nostalgia-filled track and as a 90’s kid (where my fellow ’93 kids at?!), I really dig it. The chorus is great to sing along to, and it’s also got a great beat to clap along with at live shows, which will absolutely go off. ‘After Love In The After Hours’, is a lot more melancholy lyrically than what I was expecting from the song title (Yes, I have a dirty mind!), but it’s a bop that’s very much got a foot in older You Me At Six, think Sinners Never Sleep era, and a foot in what we’ve gotten from the band in the last couple of records. It’s dipping its toe into being a heavier track, but still has a bit of a dance beat to it.
It’s a great precursor for ‘No Future? Yeah Right’, which is definitely heavier than the first 4 offerings. You Me At Six are known for their fantastic collaborations on their records, and the first of two on this record comes in this track, featuring the one and only Rou Reynolds of fellow British rockers Enter Shikari. It’s a great mix of clean and screamed vocals from both Franceschi and Reynolds, and a perfect crossover of bands. It’s one of the heavier bops on the record, and will be one that both new and old YMAS fans can enjoy. For a change in vibe and pace. ‘HeartLESS’ comes up next, and it’s definitely got more electronic elements to it musically than previous songs. If you’ve struggled to put emotions into words sometimes, I feel like the lyrics in this chorus sum that up perfectly. First it’s “I know you’re not heartless, your heart is just a mess” and then reversed to “I know I’m not heartless, my heart is just a mess”. Even though lyrically it’s a bit emotional, musically it’s dancey and rocky, but so cohesive that it just slaps.
The midpoint of the record is marked with ‘Who Needs Revenge When I’ve Got Ellen Rae’. Acoustic guitar mixed with synth is how it opens, and while it starts off slow it doesn’t stay that way for long. The last part of this one is my favourite, because the instrumentalists of YMAS, Max Helyer, Chris Miller, Matt Barnes, Dan Flint just sound so damn good together. It appears a bit like a jam session between the musicians, but it doesn’t feel out of place. ‘Breakdown’ completely changes the feel of the record, being more of an electronic track with Josh half-singing, and half-rapping over it. It’s definitely a newer-sound for the group, but YMAS have been breaking genre barriers for a while now so it doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s one of the highlights of the record for me, mostly because it’s so different but still so obviously You Me At Six.
‘Traumatic Iconic’ is a bit like getting whiplash after the rap-rock ‘Breakdown’, starting off with a slow burn before building in the chorus. My only real complaint is that it’s too short! Josh does a fair bit of screaming on this hit, and that’s one thing I really miss from the early days of You Me At Six. It’s also a song I could listen to on repeat and not get bored. If you’re looking for a slower, more chilled-out jam, ‘:myodopamine:’ is going to be the one for you. Chris Miller’s guitar work really carries this track in terms of the instrumental side of things, not that Max, Max and Dan don’t do enough on it, it’s more so that Chris’ guitar is just so powerful throughout that it pulls focus.
‘A Smile To Make You Weak(er) At The Knees’ is honestly the only release on the record I’m not the biggest fan of. It’s not a bad song by any means, it’s just not one that I really connected with. Musically and lyrically it’s cohesive, but it’s just a bit ‘blah’ in my opinion. Luckily, the second to last on the record, ‘Ultraviolence’, picks the vibe back up. It’s definitely a more electronic offering than others on this record, and is very much what we’ve come to expect from YMAS on their last 2 releases. Josh does some great spoken vocals during the versus, and then absolutely belts in the chorus. I’m also a big fan of Matt’s bass work on this track, and it merges perfectly with the synth elements.
‘A Love Letter To Those Who Feel Lost’ is the final gift on the record, and features vocals from Cody Frost. Cody appeared on the UK’s X-Factor (and more recently Enter Shikari’s single ‘Bull‘) and has been on a steady rise to rock fame since then. Their vocals are positively ethereal, and go so well with Josh’s deeper and more rugged tones. It’s definitely a ballad and is a great way to end the record. It’s one of the top 3 tracks on the record for me. It’s completely different than the majority of the album, but still feels as if it belongs there.
Truth Decay is another fantastic effort from the UK quintet, and keeps a foot firmly in old You Me At Six, and the other foot firmly in the newer era of the band that they’ve established across the last two albums.
You Me At Six – Truth Decay tracklisting:
- Deep Cuts
- Mixed Emotions (I Didn’t Know How To Tell You What I Was Going Through)
- God Bless The 90’s Kids
- After Love In The After Hours
- No Future? Yeah Right (Feat. Rou Reynolds)
- Who Needs Revenge When I’ve Got Ellen Rae
- Traumatic Iconic
- A Smile To Make You Weak(er) At The Knees
- A Love Letter To Those Who Feel Lost (Feat. Cody Frost)
Truth Decay is out February 10th via AWAL. Pre-order HERE.
Review by Kelsey Trevan @kelsey_139
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