Fightstar at their best
It sounds like Fightstar have created their most dedicated work to date with their third album ‘Be Human’.
There is much variation in this release, so much so on some songs it is difficult to believe you are listening to the same album. To start you have gentle songs with a spring in their step while some build suspense and mystery. Instrumental changes using combinations of piano, strings and harmonica create lively rhythms. There are some tracks that are more upbeat and take on a harder form such as ‘Colours Bleed To Red’. At this point the lively guitars start crashing dramatically and segments of more powerful intensity break through. We then reach songs that have a dark twist and demand attention.
One thing I couldn’t get over was the juxtaposition of three songs; ‘Chemical Blood’ is a creative, fast paced, intense build up of dark matter. It has heavy strings, like Vanessa Mae on an adrenaline boost. Placed alongside this is the softer melody of ‘Tonight We Burn’, which is quite difficult to associate the band with. Following this is another darker song, one that opens with piano but builds in anticipation and intensifies with guitar riffs. They save the best for last with ‘Follow Me In To The Darkness’. I was astonished by the placid and quite tender elements with dramatic piano and string sounds making the most dominant of impacts.
I recall thinking Simpson was a terrible singer in his teenage boy band days. But, I have since realised his talent as a singer was just not suited to the music. He needed an outlet his voice was passionate about and he has found it. With his unpolished and rather rugged voice he is able to put in little effort but achieve a great effect as well as put in great effort and make your mouth drop with the passion, as he demands to be heard. There are other vocals offering a smoother and more emotional effect on some songs, along with the screeching of a gruff voice at times. Vocally the point of impact that knocked me for six was anthem vocal harmonies at the closing point of ‘War Machine’.
As well as being both musically and vocally strong and able to overwhelm a listener with its creations, Fightstar have written some great tracks with choruses to sing-a-long to. This album is going to be sending Fightstar to places they have never been before. ‘Be Human’ could surely be the start of something good for the band.