The New Classic
What happens to an emo band when their reservoirs of teenage angst run dry?
It is a dilemma akin to the fate that faces boy sopranos when their voices break. Surrey five-piece You Me At Six may have cracked the mainstream – their last album, 2011’s Sinners Never Sleep, hit number three, and last year they headlined Wembley Arena – but in their mid-twenties, they are getting a tad long in the tooth to whine that they hate the world.
It’s a question they face up to on their fourth album’s opening track, the Gaslight Anthem-like Too Young To Feel This Old. “We’re not young any more,” muses singer Josh Franceschi over sleek, glistening riffs, his voice apparently trembling with emotion. “What are you scared of?”
Ideally, of course, You Me At Six would mark these advancing years with a corresponding increase in the depth and maturity of their music. Instead, Cavalier Youth is more of the same: utterly generic, carefully crafted, radio-friendly pop-punk nuggets with zero emotional heft or authenticity. Frankly, it is hard to believe that anybody over the age of 14 could listen to lightweight, desperate-to-please tracks like Carpe Diem or Wild Ones with a straight face.
“Shallow is as shallow does,” muses Franceschi on the current single, Fresh Start Fever. You can say that again, pal.