With two albums already on the table and an ever swelling fanbase, You Me At Six are obviously doing something right, so you would expect album three would deliver more of the same. Well, you’d be wrong.
Sinners Never Sleep could be seen as the ‘transitional phase’ in the bands career – the stepping stone to where they want to head in the future. Although album openers Loverboy and Jaws On The Floor are the typical perky, poppy delights we are used to hearing from the band, it is Bite My Tongue which shows the first signs of You Me At Six establishing a harder, rock sound. Singer Josh Franceschi delivers the vocals in a harsh, cut-edge manner, delivering the lines aimed for his bandmates “I might be proud, but at least I’m proud of something / You’ve taken pride in becoming nothing” with bitter angst. Indeed the guest vocals (or perhaps ‘shouts’ would be the more appropriate phrase here) from Oli Sykes do seem rather pointless, as Josh manages convey his anger perfectly without needing to raise his voice, much like in the equally resentful track Little Death. It seems Josh had developed quite the acid tongue on this album, which is strangely nice to see – it makes a change from songs about parties and girls anyway. However, it’s obvious the guest appearances’ form Oli and Winston McCall on Time Is Money are an attempt to show they’re heading in a new direction, away from the restraints of their poppy past.
The band have been wise however to make their musical evolution a sort of transitional step, so the essence of You Me At Six is still undeniably there. Indeed, abandoning their past completely would have been rather a rash move, so you could say Sinners Never Sleep has the best of both worlds. Songs Reckless and No One Does It Better are sure to be a hit with die-hard fans, whilst slower numbers Little Bit Of Truth and Crash really show how the band have grown and matured into truly respectable musicians. But it is the last song on the album, The Dilemma, which shows the band at their best. It is probably their most revolutionary song, with its infectious rhythm and its witty, intelligent lyrics, it’s sung with a tongue-in-cheek manner which makes it rather charming.
Sinners Never Sleep gives us a hint of the future for You Me At Six. It’s the start of their evolution as a respectable rock band, and with the maturity demonstrated through these songs, lyrically in particular, there’s no denying that they’re on the right track.