It would be easy to label You Am I’s latest album as yet another entry into their alternative rock canon, and though the classification isn’t entirely inappropriate, there’s slightly more to Convicts. If the album cover is any indication, You Am I wants you to know, first and foremost, that they are in fact wild and reckless, so creating the album around the concept of lawlessness and rebellion, their seventh release starts off with a more appropriately punk feeling. Even if that style wanes as the album moves on, the initial riotous tone carries on from “Thank God I’ve Hit Bottom” and “It Ain’t Funny How We Don’t Talk Anymore” into tracks titled “Thuggery” and “Gunslingers.” By the time Tim Rogers sings an all too brief anthem to fictitious female rebel “Constance George,” the fact that they toured briefly as The Convicts In The States makes perfect sense. It’s a name befitting the band, as they follow few rules and exist only to kick ass and take names. While a studio album will never fully be able to capture the band’s wild live performances, it does allow lower-key, humorous songs like “Explaining Cricket” their chance to shine. It’s safe to say that You Am I captures a good cross-section of their talents on Convicts, but the experience of listening through headphones or home speakers is fleeting and none too memorable.
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