While She Sleeps are the best band in the UK. Right now they are standing on the verge of something very special. They are about to drop one of the albums of 2017. An album that will not only put the rest of the scene on notice but one that will shoot them into the stratosphere.
You Are We is While She Sleeps third full-length album. Written and recorded in their own time and on their own terms. Completely self-funded and unaided by a record label. This is a pure album made by a band with a lot of things on their minds.
This moment feels special. While She Sleeps have been threatening to make this album for a very long time. ‘Brainwashed’, their previous album failed to connect with me the way that their debut ‘This is the Six’ did. It left me slightly cold, wondering what would be next.
There are moments in life and particularly in music where you can feel something in the air. This is one of those moments. The album opens with acoustic strumming before unfurling itself with the battle cry of “YOU ARE WE!” and we go from o-60mph in a split second. If I had to put money on it, this will be the song they will open their live show on this tour. It is an incredibly audacious opening salvo. A true rallying cry that sets the record off on the right foot.
‘Steal the Sun’ storms in behind it with an opening riff that is reminiscent of ‘At the End of August’ by 36 Crazyfists. It’s another absolute rager full of bounce that will ignite pits the world over. This is the first real punch the air moment. It’s like being strapped to a rollercoaster while some absolute lunatic screams in your face.Then after its done taking you aside and giving you a hug. Yeah, it’s that kind of song. It also features my favourite lyric on the album “Why are we dying to live, this sickness we’re living in” that one line speaks volumes.
There is not a single second of this album that feels like filler. It would take a lifetime to fully address everything here. There are so many secrets hiding in plain sight that reveal themselves over time. There are some truly spine-tingling parts too.Whether it’s the chorus to ‘Wide Awake’ which just hits out of nowhere and blows everyone else out the water. ‘Silence Speaks’ the album’s first single sets the tone for the album, giving you an idea of direction, but even that doesn’t scratch the surface.
‘Settle Down Society’ and ‘Hurricane’ are two of the most melodic and dare I say it accessible songs that While She Sleeps have ever written. Speaking of melody, there is a tonne of it in abundance on this album. Every member gets a chance to lend a voice during some of the songs, providing huge skyscraper-sized sing along choruses. Even the guitar work is more melodically inclined featuring a lot more technicality than they have shown on previous albums. But also providing the listener not only with vocals they can sing along to, but also riffs that they will hum for days on end.
You Are We is a multifaceted record that paints a grim picture of the world that is falling apart. Yet somehow they also portray a hopeful message through massive songs that you could fill a million a tiny clubs with or a thousand stadiums. While She Sleeps prove again why they are the beating heart of a generation. You Are We is as filled with hope, unity and pure fucking passion as it with rage, and desperation.
What While She Sleeps has proved here is that you can grow and evolve without compromising who you are. This is without a doubt the best album they have ever made. It is also likely to be the best album you hear all year