Fightstar
Be Human


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
May 4th, 2009 | 45 replies | 4,970 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'll give the world to you, and I mean it, but only if you give me the sky.

It's hardly a secret that Fightstar have always made an effort to distance themselves from Charlie Simpson's boyband beginnings, but Be Human does far more than separate itself from Busted; on their third full-length release Fightstar finally sound like they're more concerned about standing out from their own back catalogue, and they manage it with astounding aplomb.

Where 2006's Grand Unification paid lip-service to the hard in post-hardcore, three years and another album later the London four-piece are finally confident enough to apply that heavier influence without it sounding apologetic, but also find the restraint to craft a record that neither alienates their fanbase nor stagnates in the same manner as 2007's One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours. Single Mercury Summer has a familiar momentum but the crossfaded vocals and foot-stomping drums of its chorus are genuinely bouncy in a way Fightstar have never attempted before. It works incredibly well, and sunshine bursts out of every cymbal crash. It's track 8, though, that really showcases why Be Human is a cut above Fightstar's previous material; Give Me The Sky hints at The Cure before bursting into ambience and soaring vocals. The wall of sound is joined by the orchestra, and...

Oh right, the orchestra. Fightstar have always seemed to hold aspirations of producing something epic and majestic; Grand Unification in particular took itself very seriously but never had the maturity to pull it off. Here, though, it's used to great effect; War Machine would hardly be out of place played behind a Lord Of The Rings battle scene, especially once you factor in the strings and choir which accompany its closing stages. Simpson's vocals just add to the tension, harbouring the same dramatic edge as always, and his coarse screams sound less forced, more cutting than ever before.

But all of this new-found depth is not at the expense of the pop moments that have always been a big part of Fightstar's sound; even tracks like Chemical Blood and Damocles have brilliant vocal melodies, but perhaps the album's most memorable passage is the chorus of The English Way, which in all of its anthemic, fist-punching catchiness is bound to take radio stations completely by surprise. Of all the offerings here, it's probably the most accessible and the most reminiscent of the band's older material, but it still occupies a valid and breathtaking position in Be Human's track listing.

On the other side of the spectrum, Damocles and Colours Bleed To Red offer darker imagery, and the opening riff to the latter is particularly menacing, although its chorus sounds awkwardly optimistic. For the most part, though, the heavier moments dotted around the album sound comfortable, are driven by authoritative drums and surrounded by hooks and energetic melodies. There are angry moments to be found in Chemical Blood, too, but the brilliant thing about this record is that it all manages to flow despite demonstrating such varied components.

So with guitars amped up and an orchestra behind them, Fightstar craft a brilliant piece of rock music, and 'craft' is most definitely the right word. There is such care taken to build this album to its explosive and frequent climaxes that it is impossible to describe it in any other way. It's not a masterpiece, but it certainly suggests a band that is capable of one; melodic, diverse and delivered with conviction, Be Human might just be the record that makes the world sit up and listen.



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user ratings (250)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
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Fightstar experiment on latest offering and produce a grandiose, beautifully crafted record....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm beginning to really look forward to giving this a listen. Sounds like my kind of thing. Good review Adam... Been a while since your last.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cheers man. Exams and exams and exams, yknow :[

Fugue
May 4th 2009



7352 Comments


I've never been sure of these guys but this seems to be getting almost universal praise, I think I might pick up a copy tomorrow after checking out a few choice tracks that is :-)

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Let me know what you think Ross as I'm unlikely to hear this before I jet off.

By the way Adam, what would you most compare this to? I'm sort of getting a Funeral For A Friend vibe (circa 'Hours').

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Recommend:

The English Way
Mercury Summer
Give Me The Sky
Damocles

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hmm, I have Hours and it wasn't the first thing I would've compared it to but now that you mention it there are some simiarities, this is a little bit more dense musically though, carries a bit more force with it, and sounds cleaner.

It's hard to compare to things because its range of sounds is pretty big. Muse, Receiving End Of Sirens, Deftones and the pop sensibility of a band like Rooster.

See, that sounds hella stupid. Why'd you have to make me go and say that? :p

Fugue
May 4th 2009



7352 Comments



Let me know what you think Ross as I'm unlikely to hear this before I jet off.


Sure thing Davey. You know I said I'd have a review up today, well I dont think thats gonna happen anymore as I downloaded the boy kill boy album and there seems to be a huge disparity between the tracks I git and the actual tracks...might have to edit the review quite heavily if/when I get the actual album.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

As soon as you mentioned Muse Adam, I got this strange image of Muse playing post-hardcore. I have no idea who rooster is though.

Ross, why do you always build us up, only to let us down. You're like the Gunners at the start of every EPL season! Haha.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

haha. it's good poppy post-hardcore with hooks and heavier sections and some ambient parts and strings and choirs and great vocals. plz name me other bands like this and i will become a fan.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Davey: you have no idea how much of an arsenal fan im going to be tomorrow night.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Righteo, I may look into these roosters somewhere down the track as I don't mind myself some poppy post-hardcore. As for other bands, I am drawing a blank right now.

I take it you are a Man Utd hater, which really doesn't narrow down the teams you may support.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Rooster aren't post-hardcore haha, I think just some of the vocal melodies remind me of them maybe; Rooster are just decent radio-pop-rock.

I'm a Sheffield Wednesday season ticket holder mate, simply hate United is all :D

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Well, I'm a sucker for some pop-rock as well, so the chickens are still on the list to at least investigate.

Yeah, as a Southampton supporter, I recall the days when we used to play Wednesday. :-(

Knott-
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oooph I wasn't expecting to have to console you :X you were pretty dire when you came to our place though honestly. For what it's worth promotion from league 1 feels damn good when it eventually comes, lol.

Can't believe that you've never heard Staring At The Sun, you probably just don't know it was them ^^

MusicinaBox
May 4th 2009



513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Manchester United fan right here lol.

^To Davey, you haaaaaaaave to check this out, very solid release and just falls short of epic to me. And it is hard to compare them to a band since they really do have a distinct sound.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, Adam... I'm still wondering where all the Walcott & Bale money went.

No probs MusicinaBox, I had already seen your Sound Off and that was part of my looking forward to this.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2009



7021 Comments


The video for "The English Way" turned me off the song for awhile, with its 'Busted' feel and their horrible hair, but I'm back to digging it. I'll be avoiding the video for "Mercury Summer".

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Music videos are evil... Except for 'Cherry Pie'. That was yummy.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 5th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

mercury summer video is enjoyable i think

Fugue
May 5th 2009



7352 Comments



Ross, why do you always build us up, only to let us down. You're like the Gunners at the start of every EPL season! Haha.


haha I get a perverse enjoyment out of it Davey, oh and Arsenal will destroy Man U tonight - not that my prediction is biased or aanything hahaha.



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