This is my first ever review...be kind
Ok, let me start by saying; Fightstar are not busted. As much as everyone wants to believe it...it's not true! Yes, Charlie Simpson (lead vocals & guitar) was in the crappy pop-punk band, but he left it to pursue what he loves...and thank god he did as it brought the end of a sh*t band and the beginning of an immense band with a beautiful album; Grand Unification.
I have gotten hold of this album 2 days before it's general release, and it's unbelievably good. Many of you may have their ep; "They liked you better when you were dead"- and if you didn't enjoy it- DO NOT pick up this album, as 3 of the 6 songs on that EP are on this album. As well as containing the singles; Paint Your Target, Grand Unification Pt I and Waste A Moment.
1. To Sleep- A mainly insrumental opening-track. Relaxing, slow and mellow. Underneath the music we hear haunting vocals by Charlie Simpson. This track is a great opener, not giving to much away, as it only runs at 1:36. 4/5
2. Grand Unification Pt I- Brilliant song. Fast and catchy. The song contains a heavy instrumental bridge turning into a quietish bridge, explosing into the final chorus...epic. This really gives you a feel for the album, if you've heard it and you like it, get the album. 5/5 ("You can hide but I won't")
3. Waste A Moment- The newest single, with a brilliant harmony from both singers- Charlie Simpson and Alex Westaway. This track is wonderfully atmospheric. This song leaves you thinking, unlike most of their songs. Yet keeping to the formula of soft verse, with heavy chorus and screaming bridge, with a huge final chorus. Charlie can really scream well. 5/5 ("I'm alone and self-anemic...")
4. Sleep Well Tonight- The melody in this song is fantastic. This track has much more singing from 2nd singer; Alex. Charlie's vocals are really shown off in this track. Alex's vocals are vulnerable whilst Charlie gives a strong feel to it. This is probably my favourite track on the album. It's mor melodic than heavy, but Charlie manages to use his voice to create a shouty final chorus dripping with sincerity. 5/5 ("If you dream the truth it will all come clear")
5. Paint Your Target- Probably the most well-known song on the album. This has been re-worked a little since TLYBWYWD but it's pretty much the same. Probably counted as one of the "happy" songs, with a great beat and hook. This song's much more basic compared to the rest of the album, but it's still breath-takingly brilliant. The dual vocals from Charlie & Alex are very strong throught-out the album. 4.5/5 ("I'm sorry enough to tell you that i'm ok")
6. Build An Army- Very Funeral For A Friend-ish, especially the bridge. A very good song nonetheless, with Charlie showing off how well he can scream powerfully. A heavy song, which once again has a very haunting feel to it, quite common with Fightstar songs. There is a feeling of eerieness in the song. 4/5 ("Crush these empires to ashes")
7. Here Again (Last Conversation)- Another strong song that cannot have a bad thing said about it and although i love it, i can't really say there's anything NEW here. It has quite a catchy chorus, and a memorable final chorus. But it's another song which is: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, final chorus.- 4/5 ("When we weren't the ghosts we've become")
8. Lost Like Tears In Rain- Second track from the EP, i personally loved this song, and it was one of my favourite's on the EP. However there is a feel of over-production on it, it has only been altered slightly, but could have been left. However the song is still a masterpiece. A wonderful main riff, actually the song is peppered with fantastic riffs. The final bridge/chorus, is humongous and full of energy- 4.5/5 ("Find the exit signs and disappear")
9. Open Your Eyes- Probably the softest song on the album, with Charlie holding back and not letting out a single scream. A happy song initially, with a catchy quiet chorus, that gives you an idea of Fightstar's diversity. Violins and snyths are used to full effect to bring about a dramatic, catchy, sweet song.- 4/5 ("For everyone's sake- stay away from here")
10. Mono- Personally one of the best tracks on the EP. I still adore the song but there isn't as much of a build up to the final chorus, where it suddenly goes heavy, on the album as much as there is on the EP. For the whole song is just a huge build up to this gigantic ending, where Charlie sings out to everyone who'll listen. I also like it when Charlie just does a single note on the EP (about 2:47 in on the EP, "I won't wait") and it's beautiful but he doesn't do it on the album. But i love it anyway. 4.5/5
11. Hazy Eyes- Yet another track from the EP. The album finally has done a song from the EP justice! The song is a kind of "f**k you" song, it seems rather happy, yet the lyrics suggest otherwise- "I don't need you". Fast and energetic with a tight drum-beat, if a rather cliched guitar verse riff.Yet brilliant. 5/5 ("distorted, crushed and hazy eyed; f*ck your white lies")
12. Grand Unification Pt II- Sad song, with the use of a piano being very obvious. However, the track opens and closes with narration from an american speaking on "Mankind" and "creation myths". Seeing as Fightstar are English i was a little confused on why they used an American's voice. It'll just continue people's theory on that "they're trying to be American". However the song itself is beautiful and works a bit like Mono (soft build up to a heavy, powerful end) I guess this is Fightstar's attempt to seem deep- 4/5 ("Hold my hand until the waves come")
13. Wake Up- Fantastic song with an anthemic end, belting out "wake up" over and over again, ending the album in style. The opening riff is simple yet very cool, and well-done. This song shows how Fightstar can mould several different parts of a song and blend them together to make them run together smoothly, creating a brilliant track. Omar's drumming in this is incredible, showing off how musically talented this band can really be. 5/5 ("the air is so thin and i'm losing sleep")
OUTLINE: Fightstar are post-hardcore/emo, with a hint of grunge. This album is an amazing debut, and is bursting with dual-vocals, tasty bass-fills, incredible drum beats (using a double-bass pedal to full effect), catchy choruses- with amazing singing. The CD is packed with great guitar riffs, using 2 guitars very effectively. Also; the artwork in the album is unbelievably incredible, making this album completely beautiful in every way.
MINUSES: One thing i will say that lets the album down, is the slight feel of over-production. The guy that produced this album is the guy who did Funeral For A Friend's album. So often the guitars could do with sounding less metally. Personally I prefer the EP's version of "Mono" & "Lost Like Tears in Rain". Also this album has too many songs from the EP, more newer ones would have been nice to see.
FOR FANS OF: Funeral For A Friend, Taking Back Sunday, Deftones, Finch,
Alexisonfire, The Used etc.
BEST TRACKS: Grand Unification Pt I, Waste A Moment, Sleep Well Tonight,
Paint Your Target, Hazy Eyes, Wake Up
This band are amazing and should be taken seriously as musicians, I have seen the live twice, and they put on a brilliant show. And I met them once, and I gotta say; genuine, nice guys.