#4 Record
Rating: 9/10

What has always stood out about You Am I is that here you have a band not in anyway cowed before their idols and ambitions. That is, while their indie-kid contemporaries are too self-conscious to admit they want to be great, this band have the chutzpah to believe they walk the same halls as any God you care to mention.

You can see it in their stylistic precocity. They'll take anything on board, and while Hourly Daily was at times twee and precious, each album exhibits the kind of redefined melodic sense that speaks of ravenous musicality. You Am I walk the line. Others aren't so brave.

Take "Heavy Heart," a potentially very bad feeling-sorry-for-myself ballad with a classic chord progression. As a listener, you're sitting on it the whole way through, waiting for it to crash. But thanks to a deft way with the lyric and melody, they pull it off. Same too for a slow-burner like "Come Home With Me." At moments like these You Am I seem so much more important than any other local band - even at their worst moments - because like their idols they're not afraid to take a fall in trying to be great.

Produced by Black Crowes man George Drakoulis, #4 Album is a lean, loose and disparate thing. Where Hourly Daily was seamless in tone, here numbers like the skuzzed-up "Billy" (which suggests the ranginess of "Cool Hand Luke") run into perfectly crafted radio pop like "What I Don't Know About You." Horns come in on the opening track "Junk" - and that's "Runaway Boys" you're hearing in the chorus.

Yearning, romantic and scrappy in fine tradition, #4 Album is both a grower and their most consistent collection of good tunes yet.

Bertis Gambon