Be Human

Written by: TL on 01/05/2009 11:06:49

While Fightstar fans always seem to be fewer and further in between than what the band's music obviously deserves, there are a select few of us who have discovered this band and realized just how good they are and have been from day one. Behind them the band has a great EP, two stellar long players and one of the most worthwhile B-sides releases I can remember hearing, so understandably their new album "Be Human" is one that us fans have been looking much forward to for some time. It's been ten days since it his us now, but if you don't have it yet, I suggest you read on to find out what's what on it.

The album opens with the relatively cool straight forward rocker "Calling On All Stations", but doesn't really take off till it's second track, the excellent "The English Way" - A song that has a ridiculously powerful chorus and is probably one of the catchiest ones the band has written to date. Together with the following "War Machine" Fightstar demonstrate how they've fused a string section and a choir into this album's framework, adding a symphonic feel to their already cinematic soundscape, and in both songs the result is stunning.

However on the fourth track "Never Change" we get to see a bit of this record's expansive nature, as the song has an odd but playful feel that you'd been more likely to expect from one of Coheed And Cambria's more quirky songs. "Colours Bleed To Red" brings back the rock punch for a spell but from then on things seriously start to get more mellow. "Whisperer" is probably the strangest track I've heard the band play, piecing four parts together that just doesn't seem to fit in terms of mood at all. It makes the song flow really oddly, and while the different parts of it are all quite cool, it's hard to really feel it till the ending refrain completely takes over.

"Mercury Summer" and "Give Me The Sky" are then up and both are light and summery tracks that come very close to reminding me of older Jimmy Eat World material. This is obviously not something to complain about, but it is about here that I start to get the feeling that something is really missing from this album. Fightstar have always lived off a very epic and cinematic soundscape with the weight of the world always seeming in jeopard, and despite of the symphonic additions to the band's sound, it mostly feels like the perspective has been narrowed to a more personal level. While "Chemical Blood" does a stellar job at countering this feeling by effectively being the "Deathcar" of this album, it's still hard to shake the feeling that you're still missing the more metallic and melodramatic side of the band a bit.

Artistically there is pretty much still nothing left to be desired from this record however, as Fightstar manage to still make the voyage through it a surprising and consistently interesting one, even while they're discovering new sides to themselves along the way. I would have liked to hear more of both the piano and the vocals of Alex Westaway than I do here, seeing how both have been integral to some of the best moments of the older material, but then I can't really complain when instead I've gotten some well working new additions in form of the strings and choirs. I may feel that this Fightstar album lacks a slight bit of the punch the others knocked me out with, however I do suspect that it may turn out to be a more subtle sting of a proverbial poisonous needle, ending up sweeping me from my feet in the long run regardless. Prefer the older Fightstar albums or not, there's no denying that this band has yet to miss a beat, proven by "Be Human", another quality listening experience from start to finish.


Download: The English Way, War Machine, Colours Bleed To Red, Chemical Blood
For The Fans Of: Funeral For A Friend, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars, Deftones

Release Date: 20.04.2009
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