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Like a politician with a hankering for power, Charlie Simpson (née Charlie from Busted) realised it was time for an image change. If Fightstar - his ex-Busted, post-hardcore outfit - were to rupture the mainstream, he'd have to get rid of his boy-band baggage. His amour for air-hostesses and feisty school teachers would have to be dropped quicker than Labour's commitment to renationalising the railways.
Sometimes he's seemed a little too desperate to prove his new loyalties, shooting a video in the same underground tunnel famously ravaged by The Prodigy in their establishment-baiting 'Firestarter' promo, and, if rumours are to believed, answering his former record label's polite request for 'poppier' material by abruptly tearing up their contract.
His latest move is to hire American producer Matt Wallace to produce Fightstar's second album, the ungrammatically titled One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours. An architect of the nu-metal movement, Wallace's CV reads something like the pencil case of a lip-studded, angsty teen, embellished with names like Faith No More and Deftones.
But, even with Wallace calling the shots, One Day Son still feels like a record tugged in too many directions. Radio-friendly single '99' is weighty yet melodic, 'You and I' is a ripening attempt at a breathy serenade, while harder tracks like 'Tannhauser' throb with well-regimented aggression, threatening to pulverise anyone who might question the band's rock credentials.
One Day Son sees Fightstar attempt many styles - some skilfully; others ham-fistedly - but, as Charlie will no doubt be keen to parrot, at least Busted's skimpy, faux-punk stylings aren't among them. --Robert Jackman
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