Sinners Never Sleep

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Sinners Never Sleep
You Me At Six Sinners Never Sleep.png
Studio album by
Released3 October 2011
RecordedMarch–May 2011
StudioSunset Sound, The Sound Factory and EastWest Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre
Length47:57
LabelVirgin
ProducerGarth Richardson
You Me at Six chronology
Hold Me Down
(2010)
Sinners Never Sleep
(2011)
Cavalier Youth
(2014)
Singles from Sinners Never Sleep
  1. "Loverboy"
    Released: 23 September 2011
  2. "Bite My Tongue"
    Released: 2 December 2011
  3. "No One Does It Better"
    Released: 6 April 2012
  4. "Reckless"
    Released: 22 October 2012

Sinners Never Sleep is the third studio album by English rock band You Me at Six. The album was released on 30 September 2011[1] and was released through Virgin Records in the UK, Australia and New Zealand on 3 October 2011. The album was then released in the United States on 24 January 2012. The first and lead single, "Loverboy" was released on 23 September 2011, and was followed by "Bite My Tongue" which was released on 2 December. Their third single from the album, titled, "No One Does It Better" was released on 6 April 2012. The fourth and last single to be released from the album, titled, "Reckless" was released on 22 October.

Background[edit]

You Me at Six's second album Hold Me Down was released in January 2010.[2] It reached number five in the UK albums chart – one of the highest chart positions for a rock band that year. Following numerous tours, tension was rising within the band as the members were becoming sick of one another.[3] In April, vocalist Josh Franceschi, guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller spent time together writing new songs while bassist Matt Barnes and drummer Dan Flint went to Vegas for a break.[4] Following this, the band made their second appearance on the Warped Tour. The group's US popularity had grown since their first appearance. While on the tour, Franceschi said their next album would be influenced by acts they were listening to, such as The Ghost Inside, A Loss for Words and Parkway Drive. He theorised that it could be "a bit heavier"[5] due to their preference of listening to heavy music while on tour.[6]

In August, Franceschi revealed that the band would be writing for a new album as early as November. Franceschi explained the quick turnaround: "[Y]ou can't tour an album for two years anymore … You've got to keep bringing new stuff out".[7] He mentioned that some of the material they had up to that point was much slower and had a "Brand New meets Jimmy Eat World meets Coldplay vibe."[7] By December, the group had accumulated 12 songs, four of which were complete.[8] In the same month, the group showed their label Virgin Records demos of the new material. They were concerned that their label might react negatively to the heavier-sounding songs and halt their recording plans. Instead, the label was highly positive about the tracks.[6] In February 2011,[9] the group released "Rescue Me", a collaboration with Chiddy Bang, as a stop-gap release.[10]

Production[edit]

Pre-production and initial tracking[edit]

In an effort to challenge themselves, the band did not wish to record their next album in the UK. Their label asked where they wanted to record at, before proposing they record in a secluded place in a forest. Franceschi said if they lived within a small area with no one around, they would "probably end up killing each other" as they were social people.[11] The group pondered about recording in Los Angeles, California, as they thought it "wouldn’t just be a different recording space and different recording experience, but also a life experience."[11] The group subsequently lived in apartments in Hollywood.[12] They did pre-production for the first time with producer Garth Richardson where they ran through the songs with him present. He told the band what he considered to be good and bad; the group and him bounced ideas back-and-forth on ways to improve select songs. According to Franceschi, only one track was changed substantially. Apart from this, Richardson suggested minor corrections, such as adding another chorus or an additional bar in a verse.[11]

Sessions mainly took place at Sunset Sound and The Sound Factory in Los Angeles,[13] starting in March 2011 and ending in May.[6][12] The group was due to support Parkway Drive in Australia in May,[14] but were forced to pull out as the album was not complete in time.[12] Richardson assumed the producer role with Ben Kaplan in charge of recording.[13] For all of the band's past work, they worked with John Mitchell. Franceschi said they were "a very hands-on" group, "so we’ve always kind of ... almost recorded [albums] ourselves."[11] Working with Richardson was "slightly different" as he brought in a team of people.[11] Before tracking drums, they had two–three different technicians setting up the kit and figuring out the right drum sounds.[11] Flint played on a Gretsch kit, which he was impressed by. He said that he had no need to trigger the drums since "it sounded phenomenal by itself."[15]

Franceschi's panic attack and later recording[edit]

During the third week of tracking,[12] Franceschi was on a conference call with the group's manager who told him that Richardson was unhappy with how the sessions were progressing. Their manager said they'd send all of the band members, minus Franceschi, home and leave him to track the rest of the parts. Franceschi responded that he would not be able to carry the weight of the rest of his bandmates and didn't need "this lead singer syndrome ego boost."[16] Later that day, Franceschi and O'Grady got in an argument with Richardson. After this, Franceschi received a call saying that recording was over and that the band were told to come home.[16] Following this, he tweeted that he saw Noel Gallagher in the same studio, unaware that he just leaked the news that a former Oasis member was recording a solo album.[17] He then received the news that the band's upcoming support slot for two tours with Blink-182 were pulled. All of these events in the span of a single day resulted in Franceschi having a panic attack, where he was then taken to hospital.[18] His attack ended up losing the band 12 days in the studio,[12] before he decided to check himself out of hospital.[18] His vocal parts were subsequently tracked over the following two–three weeks.[12]

Miller later recalled that they were unable to work easily with the production team. On occasion, he would go in to record his parts and still be waiting to record six hours later. Helyer expressed similar frustration after returning to their apartment, and saying "Fuck this! We’ve paid a lot of money to be here and record an album and I’m not getting to do my work."[19] Pro Tools editing was done by Kaplan, Nick Rowe and Richardson. Geoff Neale and Clint Welander acted as assistant engineers. Additional engineering was done by Matt O'Grady, Rowe, Richardson and Welanders. Strings and brass, which were arranged and conducted by Jeremy Rubolino, were recorded at EastWest Studios in Los Angeles. They were recorded by Jorge Velasco with assistant engineer Jeff Ellis. Kaplan performed keys and did programming, while Damian Taylor did programming on "When We Were Younger".[13] Oliver Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon features on "Bite My Tongue" and Winston McCall of Parkway Drive appears on "Time Is Money".[20] Franceschi said that they wanted to add "an extra layer of aggression" to both of these tracks, and brought in Skyes and McCall.[3] The album was originally mixed by Andy Wallace.[12] However, the final versions were mixed by Mitchell and O'Grady, before they were mastered by Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios.[13]

Composition[edit]

Overview[edit]

One member of the group would come up with an idea, be it a guitar riff or vocal melody, and the rest of the band would flesh it out at practice sessions. During this, one member might suggest changing the drum or guitar parts.[21] Franceschi said that with Hold Me Down they wanted to make a better produced version of Take Off Your Colours (2008). With Sinners Never Sleep, the group were more focused on showcasing a wide variety of sounds. The group incorporated new instrumentation into their sound such as strings, horns, pianos and samples. Franceschi mentioned that some of the songs could feature on a Coldplay album[12] and others that could have appeared on a Parkway Drive album.[6]

They wrote songs that would appeal to both their existing fanbase and a potential new audience.[12] "Loverboy", "Bite My Tongue" and "When We Were Younger" were the first tracks the group worked on.[22][23] Franceschi didn't write any lyrics for the songs until they went to America. He focused and wrote words to the demo recordings while the rest of the members were tracking their instruments. This was new for Franceschi as he previously wrote lyrics and melodies while the band was writing the songs.[11]

Songs[edit]

The idea for "Loverboy" came from Barnes;[24] the track was anchored around his bass parts.[23] The "da da da da" part came from Franceschi, who was inspired by sing-a-longs at football games.[25] Franceschi said "Bite My Tongue" was born out of "a place of frustration".[26] It was about his relationship with his bandmates and other people when they were making the album.[26] Flint said "This Is the First Thing" reminded him of casinos. It was one of the first tracks demoed for the album.[23] Franceschi called "No Ones Does It Better" and "Crash" "pretty chilled-out" and were in similar style to that of Snow Patrol and Coldplay.[27] "Little Death" was inspired by the death of Flint's dad prior to the release of Hold Me Down. As the members were comforting Flint, Franceschi suggested writing a song about it.[22] The band had forgotten about the track until they rediscovered it late in the recording process. They were originally going to name the album after it until their label and management claimed it meant orgasm in French.[23]

Franceschi wanted "Crash" to be the "Fireworks" of Sinners Never Sleep, referring to the closing track of Hold Me Down. "Reckless" was originally titled "Don't Hold Your Breathe", but was altered when the group realised Nicole Scherzinger had a track with that name. It was changed to "The Best You've Never Had", until they realised The Swellers and Beyoncé had songs with similar names. At this point, it was finally named "Reckless". Barnes said it had the most resemblance to material on Hold Me Down. The riff to "Time Is Money" was written while the back were recording Hold Me Down, but was left off at Franceschi's suggestion. While recording it for this album, the song lacked a chorus, which was quickly written while drums were being tracked.[23] "Little Bit of Truth" is about the band's relationship with their fanbase.[22] It was heavily influenced by Jimmy Eat World. "The Dilemma" takes its name from The Dilemma (2011), featuring Vince Vaughn. It's about a dilemma where Vaughn thinks his friend's wife is cheating.[23] "When We Were Young" is about Franceschi's relationship with his parents.[22] Barnes said it was their most experimental song.[23]

Release[edit]

On 1 August 2011, Sinners Never Sleep was announced for released in October. In addition, its track listing and artwork were revealed.[28] "Loverboy" was made available for streaming on 12 August.[29] Later that month, the band appeared at the V, Reading and Leeds Festivals,[30][31] and went on a co-headlining Australian tour with We the Kings.[32] A music video was released for "Loverboy" on 30 August.[33] On 22 September, the band did a live session for Radio 1 where they played "Loverboy" and "Little Death".[34] "Loverboy" was released as an EP on 23 September with an instrumental and acoustic versions of "Loverboy", and "Moon Child" as additional tracks.[35] Sinners Never Sleep was released on October 3.[36] It was accompanied with a behind-the-scenes documentary Bite My Tongue that was posted on YouTube.[37] The documentary chronicled their history from their first practice session to the recording of Sinners Never Sleep.[38] The iTunes deluxe edition featured bonus track "Takes One to Know One", the video for "Loverboy", and Bite My Tongue.

To promote its release, the band did a few in-store performances and signing events[39] and went on a UK tour[40] with support from Deaf Havana[41] and Lower Than Atlantis.[42] Following this, the band supported Mayday Parade on their headlining US tour, titled Noise Tour.[43] On 6 November, a music video was released for "Bite My Tongue".[44] It was filmed in October in New York.[45] It was released as a single on 2 December with "Brother" as an additional track.[46] On 24 January 2012, the album was released in the US. On the same day, "Little Death" was made available for free download.[47] In January and February, the group went on a co-headlining US tour with The Swellers with support from We Are the Ocean and Twin Atlantic.[48] The tour was initially planned to be co-headlined with The Dangerous Summer.[49] To coincide with the tour, Sinners Never Sleep was released in the US on 24 January. Franceschi explained that by having the US release awhile after its original UK release, the label wanted more time to promote it.[27]

Around their performances at Soundwave festival in Australia in February and March,[50] the band played two sideshows with A Day to Remember.[51] On 5 March, a music video was released for "No One Does It Better".[52] They embarked on a headlining UK tour in March and April with support from Mayday Parade, Kids in Glass Houses and The Skints.[53] "No One Does It Better" was released as a single on 6 April with an acoustic version of the song as an additional track.[54] In June, the group performed at the Download Festival in the UK.[55] Following this, the group embarked on Warped Tour until late July.[56] In August, the group performed at Reading Festival in the UK.[57] A live video was released for "Reckless" on 6 September[58] composed of tour footage.[59] The track was released as a single on 22 October.[60] The following day, the band performed for BBC Radio 1's Radio One Rocks event.[61] On 8 December, the group played a one-off show at Wembley Arena in London, dubbed The Final Night of Sin.[62] They were supported by We Are the Ocean and Deaf Havana.[63] The show was filmed and subsequently released as a CD/DVD combo[62] in March 2013.[64]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic68/100[65]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[66]
The Aquarian WeeklyFavourable[67]
BBC MusicMixed[68]
Big Cheese4/5[20]
The Boston Phoenix3/4 stars [69]
DIY7/10[70]
Gigwise8/10 stars[71]
Hot PressFavourable[72]
Punknews.org3/5 stars[73]
Thrash Hits2/6[74]

Sinners Never Sleep had reached number one on the midweek chart,[75] before eventually landing at number three 3 on the UK album chart after selling 27,000 copies.[42] It was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry in December 2011 and Gold in August 2012.[76] By January 2017, the album had sold over 160,000 copies in the UK.[77] "Bite My Tongue" and "No One Does It Better" were nominated for Best Single, and Sinners Never Sleep for Best Album, at the Kerrang! Awards.[78]

Track listing[edit]

All music by You Me at Six, all lyrics by Josh Franceschi.[13]

No.TitleLength
1."Loverboy"3:16
2."Jaws on the Floor"2:44
3."Bite My Tongue" (featuring Oliver Sykes)3:41
4."This Is the First Thing"3:12
5."No One Does It Better"4:40
6."Little Death"3:10
7."Crash"5:09
8."Reckless"4:29
9."Time Is Money" (featuring Winston McCall)2:54
10."Little Bit of Truth"5:30
11."The Dilemma"2:50
12."When We Were Younger"6:11

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per booklet.[13]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

Citations

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Sources

External links[edit]