- Abigail Quigley
You Me At Six are back with the release of their incredible eighth studio album, 'Truth Decay'
Formed back in 2004, the eminent emo-rock group, You Me At Six, are still striving to top the charts nearly two decades later with the recent release of their eighth studio album, Truth Decay. The new release, which was postponed due to vinyl production, is finally here after an anticipated wait amongst their devoted fan base. Described by Kerrang as ‘a time capsule of what it means to be a young adult in the ever-difficult 2020s’, we had a listen to their new album to see what all the fuss was about. It’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed. Truth Decay is a metaphoric catapult back to 2008, when coloured skinny jeans were actually in fashion, Josh Franceschi was every teenage girls’ celebrity crush, and Take Off Your Colours was a staple album on every scene-kid’s iPod playlist.
The album kicks off with Deep Cuts. Momentarily, the intro is indistinguishable from Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, before the quintet seem to get straight stuck into their heartfelt, pop-rock roots. There is an overwhelming sense of nostalgia from the start, both of previous You Me At Six hits and of every other 2000s pop-punk band that you probably had a badge of, pinned proudly to your oversized chequered backpack. This is by no means a negative. The wave of reminiscence is refreshing, as it isn’t often we hear new hits with the same punchy, emo presence that we used to be so fond of as teens. The newness combined with nostalgia is like reliving listening to the band for the first time, and, just three tracks in, we were keen to hear more.
Aside from the similarities of previous albums and the welcomed attachment of nostalgia, it would be fair to say that the album doesn’t necessarily withhold a specific sound or genre throughout. Each song remains its own, as the album ripples through motions of melancholic softer sounds with expressive lyrics to more upbeat, playful tunes to hard-hitting, heavier tracks. Despite the shifts in sound, the band have evidently upheld their talents throughout the decades, as edgy, energetic riffs are the backbone of each track, with the inclusion of dynamic drums and, of course, the distinctive vocals of Franceschi. A couple of the tracks also feature other well-known names, including Rou Reynolds, the famed Enter Shikari frontman, and self-described ‘rave-punk’ Cody Frost.
Breakdown, the eighth tune on the album, toys with a different genre and style than we’re used to hearing from You Me At Six. The song could easily be passed off as an emo-cover of a hip-hop trap track; the background music of Breakdown is similar sounding to artists such as The Weeknd and Drake. The tune gets progressively heavier and the fusion of popularised R&B and emo-rock work very well together. Arguably, this is the best song the album has to offer. Breakdown retains the heavy qualities we expect from the band with a modernised, energetic twist. ‘I’m about to have a fucking break down, and throw a peace sign on my way out.’ If that lyric doesn’t sum up the generational ‘it is what it is’ mentality of Gen-Z and Millennials, I don’t know what would.
The album ends on A Love Letter to Those Who Feel Lost, a collaboration with solo artist, Cody Frost. The track is initially reminiscent of a euphoric 2000s tune that would be fitting in the background of a sad, rom-com scene. The song maintains its blissful music whilst progressively oozing a heavier sound and vocals. The voice of Franceschi and Frost work well together at the forefront of a tranquil sound that is the concoction of an unspecified modern genre and the pop-rock element we were all hoping for.
On the whole, the album is everything we were expecting with a few curveballs thrown in in terms of genre and welcomed collabs. It seems the guys have stepped out of their comfort zone, combining sounds and structures to form a compilation of music that satisfies the needs of hardcore fans and any Gen-Z newbies who are more accustomed and in favour of chart-topping genres. The journey between sounds holds your interest in the binge-worthy album, with some staple tracks that are there to overindulge in and play on repeat. The band have accomplished a series of achievements over the years, with Truth Decay being the latest success to add to their ever-growing list.