Surrey-bred rock band, You Me At Six, have given us their sixth album, conveniently titled VI (just in case you forgot). Whilst eclectic would be stretching it, styles do switch throughout providing something for everyone as long as you like rock. It is refreshing to hear a band that have previously done so well by sticking to their rock roots finally branching out, even if it is into the pop style.
The band brought on pop producer Eg White, who has worked with artists from Paloma Faith to Tom Grennan. This can be heard consistently from the first track, Fast Forward, which opens the album on some shy synths before breaking into a storm of guitars and drums and is one of the strongest tracks of the piece.
The preceding singles perfectly encapsulate what the album was aiming for. From the bass-led I O U to the more mainstream Back Again, which has a slightly odd Coldplay tone to it.
This brings us to the minor gripe with this album: it’s what the optimist in me wants to call an easy listen. This installment amalgamates into just another pop-rock album of 2018. This, however, appears to be deliberate, the chart-like sounds which can appear messy at times enable the album to flip between styles track-to-track whilst somehow keeping a consistent sound. From the angsty Predictable that invites headbanging to the strung out chorus bluntly opposed by harmony-led Losing You, You Me At Six have spread themselves across the rock genre in a slick fashion.
Despite minor shortcomings, for a band who promoted this latest release with a vegan kebab shop called ‘You Me At Shish’, they’ve produced several stand-out tracks and an album that invites you to listen no matter the mood.