British rockers You Me At Six return with their fourth studio album Cavalier Youth and it’s business as usual for the Surrey-based Kerrang! favourites.
Cavalier Youth sees You Me At Six’s customary commercialized rock sound permeate 12 new tracks under Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park producer Neal Avron. The result is pleasantly slick-sounding rock with definite mainstream appeal, i.e. familiar You Me At Six territory.
A bunch of great songs, a nice big rock sound, emotive lyrics, plenty of distortion and tight performances: there’s little to dislike on Cavalier Youth. However, like the majority of their past releases, You Me At Six’s new album is just the same old, same old; always a little too garden variety. There’s never anything wildly innovative or core-shakingly thrilling in their music and this album shows no sign of altering that status quo.
It is the standout tracks, however, that make the album well worth a listen. Lead single ‘Lived A Lie’, despite the first few seconds being pure One Direction, is a foot-stamping, crowd-pleasing opener. ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ is delectably rasping and distorted in its angst-riddled middle-finger-to-the-world narrative and showcases producer Avron’s Linkin Park affinity. Another adolescent frustration-sating highlight is the Fall Out Boy-esque ‘Love Me Like You Used To’, drawing more on their more pop-punk influences.
Although lacking any real flair and skirting dangerously close to dull, aspects of closer ‘Wild Ones’ are like a divine union of You Me At Six, Green Day’s ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘By The Way’. While the album boasts many decent tracks, it is ‘Fresh Start Fever’ that truly shines. Cinematic, orchestral elements à la ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ (pizzicato string accents to die for), Josh Franceschi’s vocals at their ultimate finest and a colossal chorus: it’s You Me At Six without the cumbersome averageness they so often frustratingly display.
Cavalier Youth is another good album from a band who are consistently decent and who sometimes, fleetingly and incredibly sparingly, demonstrate the glowing excellence of brilliant songs.