With the release of their 4th LP, You Me At Six are no strangers to this game. The want to be greater than past efforts. The hype that comes with the release of a new album. The aim to please and surprise your fans, while also trying your best to garner new ones. With the release of Cavalier Youth, we see the Surrey-based quintet hit their stride and come out with more hits than blows.
Their previous effort, Sinners Never Sleep, saw the band move away from their roots and into a more mature sound; Cavalier Youth sees YMAS nurturing this sound and, after a lengthy break, coming out with guns blazing. Opening track ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’ belts the album into a kick start and gives us an idea of what to expect from the following 11 tracks.
A feel-good album throughout, a polarizing change form the heartbreak-laden Hold Me Down, Cavalier Youth is the album that YMAS needed to make next. Lead and current singles ‘Lived A Lie’ and ‘Fresh Start Fever’ are the next tracks, before ‘Forgive And Forget’ takes everything down a step. Vocalist Josh Franceschi is now known for his ability to write biting hooks and big choruses, and these are all apparent on Cavalier Youth.
Lyrics such as “Let’s forget what was said / and give pain a raincheck” from ‘Forgive And Forget’ are reminiscent of previous albums, but on a whole there is a lighter, happier tone throughout this record. This is portrayed in the musicianship also, as is evident on tracks like ‘Room To Breath’, one of the best on show over the 12 songs. Huge guitars and bass bury the pounding drum, and Franceschi’s bandmates Max Heylar, Chris Miller (guitar), Matt Barnes (bass) and Dan Flint (drums) have just as much to be proud of as their lyricist.
Influences can be seen throughout. ‘Cold Night’ has a sound of current-Foo Fighters, while the poetic and short ‘Be Who You Are’ has a similar vibe to Fall Out Boy’s ‘Young Volcanoes’. But this doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a YMAS record through and through.
‘Love Me Like You Used To’ and ‘Carpe Diem’ are as close as you’re going to get to previous efforts from the band, but are still obvious Cavalier Youth tracks. The biting guitars of old-YMAS are here, but complimented by slower melodies and wind-downs. ‘Carpe Diem’ in particular has an opening which would be welcome on Sinners Never Sleep, but very quickly becomes it’s own song.
Album closer, the lengthy ‘Wild Ones’ has the epic value not unseen on previous album closers by YMAS. But, again, showcases where the band are now and exactly where they are going. And You Me At Six are going anywhere they want; the sky’s the limit. Cavalier Youth simply shows just how talented these guys are.
You Me At Six are a band we’ve grown up with, seen move to young manhood and become, without the cliche, much more mature. Their chronological steps towards Cavalier Youth all make sense, and we can look forward to where they are going next. But for now, we can sit and revel in the fact that the band have released yet another modern classic. A band who have already broken so many boundaries for rock music in the UK, they’ve got a lot more to look forward to. And we’re happy to let them.
Download: Room To Breath, Love Me Like You Used To, Fresh Start Fever, Cold Night
Venue: Cavalier Youth
Support Band: Universal BMG