Hold Me Down
You Me At Six
Late last year I reviewed the excellent ’Kiss And Tell’ and suggested that ’Hold Me Down’ would make for an interesting release.
Here is a band that have headlined a festival (Leeds’ Slam Dunk) and had two high profile arena support slots (with Fall Out Boy and Paramore) yet one could argue that their popularity has yet to be matched by their musical output, having released (and re-released) the one album, 2008s ’Take Off Your Colours’. ’Hold Me Down’ is a chance to redress this imbalance and provide a further set of songs for the band to bring to a live setting.
The album opens with first single ’The Consequence’, a track premiered on the Paramore tour and available to download from the bands website. It follows the template set down by ’Kiss And Tell’, a poppy sing along tune ending with a repetitive crescendo of angst. ’Underdog’ is infuriatingly catchy, and unsurprisingly will surface as the bands next single. ’Get out of my list of things to do, ’cos I’ve already done you’ is the frankly brilliant lyric that opens ’Playing The Blame Game’ before a rather pedestrian beat unravels unexpectedly into a strong pop-rock tune, with, of all things, a background string section.
After the opening trio of tracks, the quality dips, but never below mediocre. Thankfully there are deviations from the template the band have thus far adhered to; ’Stay With Me’ is a passable ballad with requisite emotional vocal delivery. ’There’s No Such Thing As Accidental Infidelity’ plods along disappointingly before a lighters in the air style chorus does more than save the track, but rather elevates it to the high point of the album.
The first time I listened to this record it completely passed me by, on the one hand it shows a remarkable consistency, on the other it shows that they have some way to challenge the bigger fish of the pop punk pond, the likes of Paramore and Fall Out Boy who can craft instant radio hits with ease. However, upon repeat listens a number of gems are unearthed, but there lingers a sense that this is an opportunity missed, a chance to establish themselves amongst the upper echelons of the pop punk ladder or at least to provide an album to match the adulation bestowed upon them. This will undoubtedly be lapped up by Kerrang subscribers and their success and popularity will continue to baffle critics.