Review Summary: "We Apologise For Nothing...."
The mere mention of Busted is enough to make many a Fighstar fans’ blood boil. Years apart from the poppy medley which so cleverly disguised itself as acceptable music which so appealed to the wide market of 8-15 year old schoolgirls, it seems our boy Charlie is now ready to step up to the plate and appeal to an audience of, dare I say it; males. Having grown a set unlike the boyband counterparts he left behind, I thought it was only fair to give him and Fightstar a chance. A chance to show, that beneath the crap and the almost comically oversized eyebrows of his, that he could possibly impress me, be it one iota. Cue impartiality.
“99” picks up exactly where they left off from their debut effort, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Bringing absolutely nothing we haven’t heard before, especially for an opening track that is meant to set the tone of the album, borders on being criminal. Another thing a number of songs, not just the aforementioned suffer from, is the feeling that instead of working a set of lyrics and chorus around a melody, the process has been flipped, leaving said song with a generic feel where you are sometimes left wanting with a chorus that feels all too familiar.
Hold the phone, there’s another singer in this band" And he’s actually half decent dont cha know. After the disappointing opener we are thrust into “We Apologise For Nothing”, a song which almost instantly had my foot tapping with an airy atmosphere blended into the verses, and dual vocals intertwined neatly by Simpson and Westaway, all leading to arguably the catchiest chorus on the album. Carrying on the strong form is single “Floods”, with a haunting piano setting the tone before a crunching volley of noise blasts us through to a Muse-esque chorus. Where Fightstar really seem to excel is in heavier tracks “Deathcar” and “Tannhauser Gate”. On the former, crushing vocals delivered by Simpson get the tempo off to a gallop before pulling back the reins and sweetly delivering a chorus which so juxtaposes the lyrics it possesses; “So bring out the deathcar and we’ll sleep tonight, Just say the words and this will all end right now”.
A key to the current and future success of Fightstar lies not with big name Simpson, but with drummer Omar Abidi, who, even upon first listen of the album, is simply wonderful. Being interesting in such a riff-driven album is a tricky thing for a drummer to accomplish, as they do so often quite literally, stay relegated to the backseat. Abidi however clearly thinks this simply won’t do, and whether he’s helping a song to chug along a la “ I Am The Message” or whether he’s taking centre stage with a thumping resonant melee a la “Tannhauser Gate”, he is a vital cog in the Fightstar machine.
Even though Charlie is caught crooning ‘We apologise, for nothing’, I think it’s something he should perhaps revaluate, as instead of apologising for nothing, he should promptly do it to himself and to the fans as instead of pushing this album onto heights of perhaps being a great or excellent album, he provides too much filler that unless you’re paying attention, you’d be forgiven for not noticing that the song has even changed at all. Mainly efforts like “H.I.P enough”, “99”, and “Our Last Common Ancestor”; bring absolutely nothing new to the table, only filling enough time to help the album meander along from start to finish.
Impartiality when listening to such a record took time, but in the end the potential of Fightstar is visible, albeit in small spatterings across the record. For every time they set themselves up to blow you away, they allow themselves to tumble back to where they started. ‘One Day Son This Will All Be Yours’ is as much frustrating as it is brilliant, leaving in its wake a platform in which great things in the near future could very well be acheived, with ‘Be Human’ complete with the benefit of hindsight, a giant leap forward in the Fightstar journey.
Recommended Tracks: We Apologise For Nothing