Sound — 9
Alternate Endings is a B Side CD from UK Alternative Rock band Fightstar, which was released on the 11th August 2008. Being a big fan of Fightstar, I was overjoyed when I found out they were releasing a B-side CD with 2 new songs, as a lot of their B-sides are better than actual album tracks. This album is a collection of b sides, and acoustic versions of well known songs that range from the Brutally heavy, to the very mellow, which is one of the dynamics of that band that I love. The band have put out a Lot of B sides, and I couldn't fault any of them, I even wondered why some were left off CD's, there are too many b sides to fit on one disc, they left a lot of good ones off, this could ahve been a double CD affair. Here's a round up of all the tracks, and descriptions.
01.Floods (Acoustic): nice acoustic rendition of the single Floods.
02.Where's The Money Lebowski? the song many fans were waiting for, along with already released b sides NERV/SEELE and Shinji Ikari, a small part of this was played on the DVD that came with Fightstar's second CD, One Day Son This Will All Be Yours. When this was not released with any of the singles, many of us on the Fighstar Forums wondered if it would see the light of day, and thankfully it was released on here. This song is the heaviest on the CD pretty much, yet with melodic passages in the verses. The riffs are brilliant, and It is one of my personal favourites.
03.Waitin' for a Superman: a nice Flaming Lips cover, from Radio 1 Live session, this was a B side on the last single (I am The Message), and was released on here too, A Well Done Cover.
04.Amethyst: a song from the first EP, really nice, one of my favourite songs by the band, dual vocals work excellently, and after this song, Hazy Eyes plays, as it was stuck as a hidden track behind Amethyst on the EP, and someone left it on here!
05.99 (Acoustic): once again, an album track from the last album, and a really nice one at that, fun to play on guitar, and there's some great melodies going on here.
06.In Between Days (The Cure Cover): from the We Apologise For Nothing single. Really nicely done, Fightstar made it their own really.
07.Shinji Ikari: from the Deathcar single, A real laid back track, with Al Westaway getting vocals, this is slightly extended from the original on the Deathcar single, and all for the better, the instrumental half of the track is very well done, with some nice intricate guitar work going on. Al's vocals hold up strongly, and it's a good job we get him on his own in songs sometimes.
08.Dark Star: another favourite of mine, Download only with Floods single bundle, this is a real mellow song, with Alex singing verses and chorus, along with charlie, who takes over for the middle section. The instrumental prechoruses, consisting of a pounding riff and Alex singing a high register vocal is really really brilliant, one of my favourite parts of any song.
09.Gracious: left off from the last CD, and In my opinion it wouldn't have fit if it was included. It is a nice heavy song with laid back verses sung by Alex. Nice Riff's going on in the choruses and near the end. Drummer Omar really shines in this song.
10.Fight For Us: an epic heavy song, with a build up in the verses and intro, this song is Charlie only singing, and is really brutal in the choruses and near the end. It is from the Hazy Eyes single, and was a worthy addition to this CD.
11.Hold Out Your Arms (Acoustic): a rather sombre sounding song, with Alex turning in some great vocals during the verses, and nice backing chorus vocals, Charlie sings great in the chorus too. A nice change of pace for the band. This was on the We Apologise For Nothing single.
12.NERV/SEELE: one of the heavier Fightstar b sides, from Deathcar. This song continues to build up, and the Middle section is just amazing, there is a very tense build up, with Dan's bass being prominent, then the whole thing explodes with a 12 second scream from Charlie, and a crushing version of the main riff played an Octave lower. This song is just Fightstar doing Heavy like they do it best.
13.Zihuatanejo: from the Floods vinyl, this song is very very epic, I always imagine it to be something that should be played over the closing credits of a movie, it is rather calm in the verses, with a not too heavy, but giant sounding chorus. It is a great song, very well arranged.
14.Breaking The Law (Judas Priest Cover): this was on a Kerrang High Voltage CD if I remember correctly, then released on the We Apologise For Nothing Single, The guys sure made this Judas Priest song their own, it's been sped up, made twice as heavy, and is a great song to just rock out to.
15.Minerva (Defones Cover): a lovely rendition of Minerva, changing it from being dreamy and heavy, to dreamy and laid back had a huge chance of failure, but it's been done masterfully here, this is a favourite cover of mine, and It's to be heard to be believed.
There you have it, track by track to an amazing CD.
Lyrics — 9
Track By Track Lyric review:
01.Floods Acoustic: lyrics about the climate change, and the state of Floods around the world, it is about what will happen if we continue to create global warming.
02.Where's The Money Lebowski?: these lyrics describe someone, with the verses 'you've lost the will to stand on your feet' and the choruses 'Stop believing you're precious! 'Scathing lyrics about someone. I'd bet the lyrics are in some way related to the movie.
03.Waitin for a Superman: this song originally by the Flaming Lips, is about people who are waiting for Superman to help them, but the object they need moving is too heavy for the Superman to lift.
04.Amethyst: this song is describing someone comparing them to an amethyst, and the characteristics, 'She Smokes Like An Amethyst', and 'I froze with those plastic eyes'.
05.99 Acoustic: this song is about never forgetting to keep your friends close, as they will be the ones who are there for you.
06.In Between Days: same as the Cure ones used in the original, It seems to be about having someone there for you, overall.
07.Shinji Ikari: lyrics describing a place, the second verse about saying goodbye to someone, and dropping the lights in a room. The chorus seems to be about feeling good to be alive, and gunshots?
08.Dark Star: lyrics about a sort of Place, a sanctuary.
09.Gracious: random lyrics, hard to explain really. The main chorus is sort of questioning 'Why don't you be gracious, why don't you understand' with the final scream shouting 'God will make the final judgement'.
10.Fight For Us: call to arms sort of lyrics about Fighting for a team and ending a sort of war.
11.Hold Out Your Arms: depresing lyrics about Leaving a sort of celebration, and then the second verse about being involved in what sounds like a car accident.
12.NERV/SEELE: another mixed bag of subjects, ranging from going to the coast and overboard, to finding what someone buried at a house, and sort of revolting against someone.
13.Zihuatanejo: About Water, and destroying anyone 'who comes for us', a mixed bag of subjects.
14.Breaking The Law: about someone who is Down and Out, and wants to put action back in their life, by breaking the law.
15.Minerva: the lyrics seem to be about a person, or a group of people.
So as shown, I am no lyric deciphering genius, I did what I could.
Shinji Ikari, NERV/SEELE and Where's The Money Lebowski probably do relate to the films/shows they are named after, with the first 2 coming from Neon genesis, an anime which Fightstar do love, and WTML's title coming from The Big Lebowski, a film the guys probably love also.
Singing skills are brilliant on all fronts, Charlie Simpson is a brilliant all round vocalist, Screaming better than most so called 'Screamo' Bands can, and although Charlie's voice can in some cases become tiresome, Alex Westaway is always on hand, Alex's fragile, yet extremely powerful (in my opinion) voice is always refreshing to hear in songs, and I hope to hear more from him in the next Fightstar Album, after a great deal less was heard from him on the last CD.
Overall Impression — 9
Some may wonder why they are releasing a b side album with only 2 albums and an EP to select from, but with the amount of B sides they release, It comes as no surprise to many fans. Given that most B sides are better than a lot of album tracks, it is great that they have put this CD out, of course there are a couple of B sides that are sorely missed, such as the amazing 'Floatation Therapy', which was on the floods CD single, and the iTunes download of this album, I would have liked it on the CD too. 'Call To Arms' is missing, a great Grand Unification album B side. 'Take You Home', one of the bands nicest sounding mellow B sides, and of course the Funeral For A Friend 'She Drove Me To Daytime Television' And Deftones' 'My Own Sumer (Shove It)' Covers are also sorely missing too.
Altogether though, this is a welcome addition to the band's repertoire, and is enough to get us through waiting for the next cd, Tentatively Due March '09. Let's hope in another couple of years, we can have another B sides CD like this.
Favourites of mine from this CD are Darkstar, Where's The Money Lebowski?, NERV/SEELE and Shinji Ikari, I love how each song shows a different side to the band, and that they never retread old ground. The best new, original band to come out of the UK in a long time, I love everything about this CD except for the left off B sides, as a lot of them are immense too. If it was stolen, I'd swiftly buy a new one, and live peacefully, knowing that whoever stole it had good taste in choosing to steal such a great cd!