Produced by Garth Richardson (Biffy Clyro, Rage Against the Machine) and with guest appearances from two of the metalcore scene's most notable frontmen, You Me at Six's third album, Sinners Never Sleep, suggest the Surrey quintet are keen to distance themselves from their punk-pop boy band label. The follow-up to their 2010 breakthrough, Hold Me Down, does indeed contain two of the heaviest tracks they've recorded, with "Bite My Tongue," an aggressive slice of crunching metal featuring the vocals of Bring Me the Horizon's Oliver Sykes, and the intense, Pendulum-esque riffs and thrashing beats of "Time Is Money," which also includes the demonic howls of Australian metalcore outfit Parkway Drive's Winston McCall. But elsewhere, Josh Franceschi's emotive tones quiver over a number of more palatable, radio-friendly offerings, the majority of which bear the hallmarks of several bands from across the pond, whether it's Jimmy Eat World on the lighters-in-the-air ballad "Little Bit of Truth"; Panic at the Disco on the theatrical emo rock "The Dilemma"; or the Goo Goo Dolls on the chiming guitars and sweeping strings of soft rock anthem "Crash." The latter, in particular, isn't going to help their credibility-chasing cause, but the album is always much more convincing when it plays to its melodic strengths, as on the soulful, slow-building finale "When We Were Younger," and the '80s-tinged new wave of "This Is the First Thing," than it is when pandering to the Kerrang! masses, as on the formulaic quiet verses/loud chorus formula of "Little Death" and the gang mentality glam rock of lead single "Loverboy." Indeed, there's no shame in appealing to a more commercial crowd, and if You Me at Six could have continued to pursue the album's more mature mainstream moments instead of trying to prove their rawk credentials, Sinners Never Sleep would probably have turned out to be a more consistent affair.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien