One change which seems to have hit the music industry in recent years is the lowering of the comparable age between audience and performer.
It used to be that people in their mid-twenties to thirties would perform for people in their late teens: having first undergone some kind of artistic growth in the five-to-ten years they spent in the band before releasing their first album.
Nowadays, it is fourteen-to-eighteen-year-olds who purchase most of the music by volume. The internet has led to bands getting signed and releasing their début albums within six months of first deciding to form a band: usually straight out of high school. Hence has bloomed the era of music by teens, for teens. Thus, with an average age of nineteen and already on their second album, citing Fall Out Boy as the grand-daddy of their pop-punk influence, we welcome back You Me At Six.
Almost straight away the inexperience hits with the now routine misogyny in pop-punk lyricism. Women in this world are either backstabbing traitors, or perfect unattainable objects. While not quite as dangerous as Twilight's attitude to romance (or Walt Disney's) is grows tiresome after the twelfth song about how "It'd be safer to hate her / Than love her and lose her / It'd be safer to hate her all around" ("Safer to Hate Her") or "Revenge loves company / Three makes it a crowd / So watch your mouth / Sit this one out" ("Underdog").
Much like Take Off Your Colours, you can't fault the boys technically. They're just as adept at constructing by turns bouncy and dramatic chord progression, the vocals - while severely Americanised - and again beyond reproach. This time around though, there isn't the same charm present. "Playing the Blame Game" seems like an obvious attempt to hone in on the Fall Out Boy demographic by spinning through pogo-ing bass-led verses with Patrick Stump-aping vocals, then comes the gear-shift into high-octane chorus. Then just to seal the deal, it all goes Taking Back Sunday for for aggressive coda.
The melodramatic ballads also seem to have taken over this album. "Stay With Me", "Liquid Confidence", "There's No Such Thing As Accidental Infidelity" and "Fireworks" are all guilty of such. Placed at tracks four, seven, ten and twelve, they seem laser-guided in their quest to destroy any momentum which is ever built up.
Too simplistic in its goals and execution to provide anything more than a mild diversion and too cloying to make for a good pop-punk album. Youth and inexperience may account for some failings, but perhaps You Me At Six are just another technically proficient band with nothing original to say.