You Me At Six released their third album Sinners Never Sleep on 3rd October 2011 – exactly ten years ago to the day. So, Gemma Cockrell took the opportunity to revisit the album, and rediscover the reasons why it became a staple of her music catalogue during her teenage years.
The track on the album that first got people’s attention was Bite My Tongue. The Oli Sykes feature in the latter half transformed the track into the heaviest moment of You Me At Six’s entire discography – a statement that probably still stands true, ten years later. Interestingly, the lyrics are a brutal attack on Josh Franceschi’s fellow bandmates, written during a time when they very nearly disbanded, a sentiment that not many bands would dare to write a song about. The second heaviest track on the record is undeniably Time Is Money, which features a guest appearance from Parkway Drive’s frontman Winston McCall and borders on the hardcore genre.
"It was a brave move from the band, who at the time had only just emerged from their teenage years and were in the early stages of evolving from a pop-punk band into something much, much more"
Rock ballad No One Does It Better also saw You Me At Six exploring new territory, but in the complete opposite direction. This continued on Crash, an even slower-paced ballad, and perhaps the most vulnerable we had ever witnessed You Me At Six at that point in time. In terms of song-writing ability, the band had never reached these heights previously before Sinners Never Sleep. However, this more radio-friendly rock style would only come to dominate the sound of their following record Cavalier Youth in 2014, as well as influencing most of their releases from that point onwards. It was a brave move from the band, who at the time had only just emerged from their teenage years and were in the early stages of evolving from a pop-punk band into something much, much more.
Sinners Never Sleep manages to simultaneously contain some of the band’s most aggressive moments, their biggest choruses, and their most heartfelt ballads. And somehow, even though it is a little bit all over the place, it just works. Suddenly, You Me At Six were demonstrating their impressive versatility as a band, whilst also boldly declaring that they were ready to play some of the UK’s biggest stages and arenas, with the stadium-ready choruses of tracks like Reckless, Little Death and Loverboy. From this moment onwards, they transformed from a band who were frequently lost in the middle of festival bills into a band who regularly appear on the main stage.
"It serves as a bridge between the rough-around-the-edges sound of their first two records, and the more mature, refined and polished arena-rock that they released thereafter"
Overall, this is exactly what Sinners Never Sleep represents within the trajectory of You Me At Six’s career: it serves as a bridge between the rough-around-the-edges sound of their first two records, and the more mature, refined and polished arena-rock that they released thereafter. Sinners Never Sleep gave You Me At Six the opportunity to be angry, raw, reflective, emotional, vulnerable and honest. It saw them come of age, begin the process of maturing, and ultimately, it gave them the potential to become what they are today.
Written by: Gemma Cockrell
Edited by: Gemma Cockrell