When Fightstar do let it rip here, they really deliver.
Released: 16th October 2015
With opener ‘Sharp Tongue’ everyone can breathe a sigh of relief as the heavy, pacey riff of the introduction signals that Charlie Simpson’s recent acoustic project hasn’t made Fightstar go soft. There’s still grit to the band’s sound and this is undoubtedly when they’re at their best.
The brutal roar on lead-single ‘Animal’ is an example of where Fightstar absolutely nail it. The track sees them really let go of the reigns and go all in on a ludicrously heavy sound before allowing an almighty release in the form of chorus you can’t help but nod to like the bloody Churchill dog. It’s the same story with the highlight of the album, ‘Sink With The Snakes’. It features a riff that wouldn’t seem out of place on a metalcore record and a chorus that will be roared back at them. It’s a drastic, harsh transition, but it works beautifully.
It’s no secret that Fightstar like to channel their inner Deftones, and it’s this element that’s nestled between the hard-hitters where Fightstar run the risk of sounding lost. The songs meander and the instrumentation make no real effort to impact in the same way as the more aggressive tracks. There’s also a lot less vocal exchange between Charlie and guitarist, Alex Westway on this album. Although Charlie’s voice is as velvety as always, this lost element isn’t there to save the small handful of more down-tempo songs.
But, when Fightstar do let it rip here, they really deliver and that should mean there’s enough great material on this to keep them relevant in 2015. Jack Glasscock