Album Review: Cavalier Youth – You Me At Six

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By Chris Fung

As far as the resurgence of British rock goes, there aren’t many bands out there who have managed to show as much promise as the Weybridge 5 piece You Me At Six. A band who have previously released 3 well established albums over their career have unleashed their highly anticipated 4th studio album in the form of Cavalier Youth. The follow-up to 2011’s Sinners Never Sleep demonstrates a huge leap for the band and the start of a new chapter in their history. If people thought their last album was a significant change in sound for the band then they’ll be blown away by what they hear on Cavalier Youth.

Known for their catchy and infectious take on pop-punk with songs like Kiss & Tell, Underdog and Reckless, You Me At Six have broken barriers by creating a straight up rock record that sounds bigger than anything they’ve ever done before. This is noticeable straight from the start with the album opener Too Young to Feel This Old which is a fine example of what to expect from the rest of the album. Whilst this grander rockier feel is the overall impression of the album sound wise, the band have been sure not to completely leave their signature sound behind. Tracks like lead single Lived A Lie, which acts as a bridge between their last album and Cavalier Youth, and Hope For The Best incorporate the rest of the album’s sound with a melodic rock and pop-punk sound that is more familiar on their past material. There is a much heavier guitar driven sound on the album, courtesy of guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller backed up by bassist Matt Barnes, that gives rise to heavier and more powerful songs than any the band have ever recorded before. That combined with the massive choruses that lead singer Josh Franceschi has been belting out on the record show that the band are reaching for new heights and strive to take on bigger ambitions. Like their previous releases, Cavalier Youth provides a mixture of guitar driven anthems and softer more acoustic and clean sounding songs such as Cold Night and Be Who You Are, both featuring creative guitar riffs and the first including a big chorus too.

What this album shows is that this is a band who are willing to evolve to explore beyond their musical boundaries to create songs that match with the band’s development. The track that shows this the most is the second single, Fresh Start Fever, which features a great use of pianos and an epic build up on the verse and pre-chorus to produce a sound not heard before on their previous releases. This is both refreshing and exciting, which makes it one of the best tracks on the album and shows some great skills from drummer Dan Flint. For the grandest sounding songs on the album, it is Room To Breathe and Love Me Like You Used To that do the best job along with the album’s closer Wild Ones.

The band will be embarking on a UK headline tour in March and April and will be calling at Manchester’s O2 Apollo on 30th and 31st March. The songs on Cavalier Youth are sure to fill the venue with a great amount of rock driven energy and many anthemic epic moments. Anyone looking for some new home grown music that has character, rock fuelled drive and ambition need look no further than this album. It’s great to hear how the band have developed their sound from their humble beginnings on Take Off Your Colours through to their mammoth latest release. You Me At Six have got the new year off to a cracking start and are sure to continue to make 2014 their year.

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