Grand Unification (Part 1) review by Fightstar

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  • Released: Oct 26, 2005
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (18 votes)
Fightstar: Grand Unification (Part 1)

Sound — 8
Alright, so let's face it. Fightstar's original EP, They Liked You Better When You Were Dead, was full of grungy, in your face guitar work and screams. Although it did have its moments of tenderness (see "Amathyst"), it didn't exactly show any versatility. This isn't to say that it wasn't still a great listen. The Grand Unification Part 1 is certainly no great stretch for them. Although it is a bit heavier than anything else they've ever done, and quite rockier than the pop-influenced "Paint Your Target," it's still the band that we all know and love (actually, for most, hate). There is something different here, though. With their past far behind them, they've managed to sound more coherent as a group. And they're still catchy. Catchy is very much a key word here. Since his other escapade, Charlie has still not lost the knack for an extremely catchy hook. No matter how simple the melody gets with this group, it will be stuck in your head. And that's not even necessarily a bad thing! The guitars at the beginning of the song also seem very (if somewhat American) together, reeling you in from the opening feedback sections of the track. The band seems to be at their best during the breakdown/bridge, though, sounding extremely tight and at one with their sound.

Lyrics — 7
This song, admittedly, isn't Fightstar at their best lyrically. The good news? The lyrics, at least for everything but the chorus, are still fantastic. Although the hook (If I wake up, on my own, something happens, please come home) isn't exactly pushing the boundaries of epiphanic lyricdom, the melody makes up for it. The lyrics also reflect the melody: they've got lots of angst, and they're going to throw it in your face to prove a point. The vocals here are what really set this track apart from all others. Charlie Simpson's voice is strained, scratchy, and amazing (his faux American accent still reigns, though). Even his screams are sounding good. Guitarist and secondary vocalist Al Westaway takes the background vocals on the prechorus this time around, and manages to make for a very energetic and catchy section of the song. His melodic and undistorted voice seem to work as a great balance for this band.

Overall Impression — 9
Let's face it. Fightstar isn't leaning against any barriers here. They still sound like a cross between Armor For Sleep, Biffy Clyro, and Thursday, with more screams and tighter vocals. They sound amazingly American. But they still manage to pull it off. This band has got a lot to live up to, with an upcoming album, they're hot off the heels of the acclaimed (and no. 9 in the all-categories inclusive charts) Paint Your Target, and an EP that sold out in the first day. If you want some thrashing, sing along rock, this is the place to be. Fans rejoice. Everyone else? Give it a shot (unbiased) and you may be surprised at the pure substance of this song. Put into their separate groups, the lyrics and sound may not be anything amazing, but put them together and you've got something far better.

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