Review: You Me At Six – Hold Me Down

Artist: You Me At Six
Album: Hold Me Down
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Virgin/Epitaph

When we last met You Me At Six on Take Off Your Colours they were raw, young musicians with sharp, quick-witted tongues that helped propel them from the obscurity of the underground music scene to their now international recognition. Now, with the release of their follow-up, Hold Me Down, the band aims to mature, progress, and [though they might not know it themselves] write circles around most stateside acts in the same scene.

The key to Hold Me Down and the band as a whole lies in their ability to take the passerby and bring them into their music. I for one was not the craziest about this act, but by the end of the lead track [“The Consequence”] I was more than excited to see what the band had to offer this time around. Dealing a lot with relationships and the music industry’s [many] flaws, Hold Me Down finds lyricist Josh Franceschi coming into his own as an artist. “Stay With Me” for instance deals heavily with the inner monologue one goes through when leaving a young lover. The brooding mood and indecisiveness of young Franceschi is littered all over the song [and in a way, the record, just look at “Liquid Confidence] and it makes for an invigorating listen.

As for the rest of the band, it’s pretty much business as usual. While Hold me Down does have it’s moments of structure [“Safer To Hate Her”] and composition [“There’s No Such Thing as Accidental Infidelity”], the overall progression of the band is minimum. I’m not discrediting them though, there is obvious growth in the sound of the band and it sounds bigger and tighter than ever before, but it’s still the same melodic pop rock we found on Take Off Your Colours.

There’s something to be said for not fixing what isn’t broken, but upgrading and fixing are different ideas entirely. What You Me At Six has done with Hold Me Down is capture a young band evolving into a full-fledged rock act. There are a lot of great ideas here [mainly in the lyrics], but still some work to be done.

Score: 5.6/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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