You Me At Six is a pop punk band that I got into way too late and somehow don’t feel like a total dork listening to all these years later considering how late I am to the party. I had known about the band for a long time but for whatever reason never got into the group when they first burst onto the scene (probably because I couldn’t find any of their CDs at the library, which was my main way of sourcing new music back in the day before we had streaming). But upon first listen, I must say that this album has me torn: it’s definitive from the mid to late 2000s, and takes me right back to my awkward middle school years and teen angst. But on the other hand, the production and songwriting is immaculate, as are the vocals and overall melodies and sound. It’s been a little while now since my initial listen to the bands debut Take Off Your Colours, but every time I listen to it, it sounds just as fun as the first time. It’s filled with incredibly fun pop punk inspired moments, rock moments, lyrics that are entertaining to decipher and continues to be one of the most impressive debuts I’ve ever heard.
Here are a few of the songs I found to be the most extraordinary.
This track is definitely one of top centerpieces of the record, if not the absolute best song on it. “Finders Keepers” is instantly catchy but captivating enough in lyrics and tone to keep listeners coming back to it over and over again. Every single part is so perfectly crafted and while the song plays with different guitars, tempos, vocal tones, drum heaviness and the like, it stays incredibly cohesive. Each part of the song is slightly different than it’s counterpart, such as the distinct change in pace from the first verse to the second, or the addition of lyrics on the second chorus to keep it from getting stale. The heaviness of the bridge is one of the best moments on the entire thing, which leads into a softer second to last chorus, which builds up into our final, energetic outro. Even putting how sonically pleasant it is aside, this track leads the record in the lyrical department with lines such as “I like secrets cause they keep me in line” and “I love mistakes, especially ones you’ve made”. It’s an emo masterpiece from the times and still holds up incredibly well to this day.
“Tigers And Sharks”
This song is so distinct and not because it’s very original. Quite on the contrary, the production on this track is very common in pop punk songs but truthfully, I’m not even mad about it because this is melodically one of the best songs on the track list. It’s a slow burn of a song, starting off with a relaxed guitar riff and even drumming, building into the choruses and ending just as smoothly as it started. While other songs on this record linger on the experimental side of things, this one is perfectly symmetrical without feeling predictable. Although it’s definitive pop punk from the times, it’s a song that still sounds incredible and nostalgic in the best way possible.
“If I Were In Your Shoes”
I think my favorite part of this song is how it almost reminds me of the band Say Anything. The vocal layers during the chorus, the varying drum beat, and the overall heavier guitar driven composition of the song is unique to this record, making it easily one of the most memorable songs on here, even though it’s one of the shortest. It easily pulls listeners in during those sing along moments and features minimal lyrics which actually works out in it’s favor. One of the most notable aspects of this track is how they recycled the second verse during the outro and how ambiguous the entire thing is, not feeling like it’s set on explaining one situation.