British While She Sleeps transformed from an insider’s tip underground band to probably one of the most promising metalcore outfits for the future. Reason enough for „You Are We“ being their game-changing record?
Drawing closer to the fans.
Almost every band is saying the same phrases over and over again when it comes to a new record! ‘This is by far the best album we ever made‘, ‘The most intimate thing we ever brought to our fans‘, ‘We wanted to give this album as a gift to our beloved supporters‘. We’ve all heard this sentences (or variations on them) so many times before, but how does reality look? The fact that You Are We kind of implicates a connection to the fans and almost sounds like it’s dedicated to them, and the title track only reinforces this impression. Especially the record’s lyrics truly deal with a lot of problems not only the world but everyone has to struggle with.
On You Are We, the band definitely focussed more on solid song-lengths, nothing too suitable for a radio play. Most of them have around 4:30 minutes of runtime, which ends in a playtime of 50 minutes with eleven songs. So you definitely get what you’re paying for: a full-length record that isn’t shortened to make it more diverting. That being said, it’s not that this record ever feels boring or long-winded at all; it provides single songs that can easily be listened to as ‘standalones’ (“Silence Speaks”), while working out within the record’s context as well.
We are building walls where there should have been bridges.
There are a lot of repetitive song-structures to be found on You Are We, especially when it comes to choruses. This results in a high mass-appeal, as this is a typical pop music-esque way to work with catchiness: the more often a chorus appears, the more it is branded into your mind. The result is an earworm, and yeah, While She Sleeps definitely know how to deliver those. Speaking of pop music, the term itself might be the main problem here. It’s not like While She Sleeps are a radio band now, as Nickelback are for example; their music just has a very easy-going attitude that will open the gate for many, many listeners, even such who are usually not that much into the metal genre.
It will take a hurricane to clean up the mess we made.
The higher amount of Mat Welsh’s clean singing gives a very balladesque attitude to a lot of the songs. In fact, most of the choruses do have a very easily digestable hook. Simply listen to “Settle Down Society”, which is more of a rock song than metal or even hardcore. There is even an equivalent to the band’s older song “Seven Hills“ with “Hurricane“, but also heavy ones such as the following “Revolt”, which could also remind one of Devil Sold His Soul a little at its very beginning. On another side, there is a lot of riffing and breaks that sound similar to Architects, while A Day To Remember-ish refrains mish-mashing things up even more.
When thinking about the fact that Bring Me The Horizon made it into radio with songs like “Throne“, “Drown“ etc., one could easily imagine While She Sleeps being on there as well, at least with the music they’re playing on You Are We. It’s not even necessary to call this record the best the band has ever made; it still might be the record that is best for the band. They will undoubtedly be able to hop on bigger tours now and appeal to new listeners that maybe like their music a little softer, while fans of heaviness might still be able to enjoy this record!
Welcome to the next level! You Are We might be one of the best ‘pop-metal/pop-hardcore’ records we will get this year!
Notable Tracks: “You Are We”, “Silence Speaks”, “Hurricane”
FFO: Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember
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