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41 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God bless Charlie Simpson, he got there in the end
Right, so Fightstar are uncool because the lead vocalist is Charlie Simpson and he used to be the bushy-eyebrowed one in Busted.

Wrong.

Okay, so Fightstar make really bad music then.

Wrong.

So why does everyone hate them?

Because they are too scared to come out and say they love them.

Unlike me...
Published on 2 Feb. 2007 by Lucas Jacobellis

versus
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is big, but it's not entirely clever.
Following on from their tentatively, but ultimately well-received EP, Fightstar finally give us a full scale look at what they're all about: namely big, meaty chords; big, meaty vocals (from Simpson at least); big meaty production and, frankly, lackluster lyrics.

The band's talents are shown to their fullest on 'Grand Unification Pt 1', 'Paint Your Target' and...
Published on 1 May 2006 by Bebbet_2k


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best bands to come from the whole "emo" scene, 19 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
Along with Finch's What it is to burn and Senses Fail's fantastic and too often overlooked Let it enfold you Fightstar's debut full length is one of the best albums to come out of the post hardcore/emo scene.
The band has created a stunning album that immediately grabs your attention; from the vocal harmonies to the impressive drum work this album should blast Fightstar in to the stratosphere.
With the post hardcore/emo scene experiencing the same over saturation that nu metal did a few years ago it’s refreshing to see a band like Fightstar create something different in this genre, once this scene dies (and it undoubtedly will) I predict Fightstar will be among the few brilliant bands form the scene left standing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away!, 15 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
This is an amazing album. I already owned their They Liked you Better When You Were Dead EP, and to be honest I almost didn't buy this CD as the track listing is quite similar. However, for those of you who have been put off because of that, let me say that whilst the songs are indeed the same, they do sound different (admittedly in some cases only very slightly, but different all the same) and are still worthwhile having in your collection. The difference to my ears sounds more polished, but I wouldn't say they're any better or worse than those on the EP.

For anyone still unsure if listening to Charlie Simpson is cool or not - get over it. Busted was just a stepping stone for better things - Fightstar are here to stay!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Objective Approach – Fightstar – Grand Unification Album, 16 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
It has been two or so years from the separation of Charlie Simpson and Busted, and the transition or more appropriately progression has been some what impressive and ultimately respectful.
The forming of Fightstar seemed be unique, and unfortunately unnecessarily scrutinized, as the ignorant majority of music reviewers and listeners would quite simply base all their views on Fightstars music with an inevitable reference to 'Busted'.
Let's go back for a second, Charlie was 15 when he was forth embraced by a music company as he was recognised for his vocal and musical talents, he was offered a fantastic opportunity to become famous, and ideally to all teenagers, leave school! As an individual fixated on heavy rock such as 'Machine Head' it seemed relatively unusual for him to execute and perform such pop like songs, but all of which got him famous and relatively rich, now be realistic, would you say no to that. Remedy is the key theme here and Charlie has progressed to a scene that suits and reflects him. "For the first time since I was 15, I like what I’m playing"(Charlie Simpson).
Flash to 2006, and the release of Grand Unification has had a massive impact on me in many different ways both emotionally and musically. As a guitar player for 3/4 years now I can appreciate a good riff when I hear one, and this album is completely jammed packed of fantastic, harmonised and differentiated riffs that scream authenticity to Charlie and the talented players in Fightstar. The opening to the album "To Sleep" symbolises a new path for Fightstar, a nostalgic beginning of unknown paths and mystical circumstances, ambiguous in many ways but it all builds up to the hell raising Grand Unification (Part 1), a path has been born.

One aspect of this album must be taken into consideration, this is Fightstar's debut and the album does consist of a few tracks such as 'Mono' and 'Lost Like Tears In Rain’, which have been previously released on their EP 'They Liked You Better When You Where dead'. Although they have been released before, geniously fightstar have replicated the songs and fine tuned them into a new concoction of melodies to suit the overall progression of the band. Subsequently showing dedication and appreciation to the fans and buyers of their music.
The majority of the album stands out to me, and such tracks as "Build An Army" and ' Lost Like Tears In Rain' enable Fightstar to be associated with the heavy/emotional musical scene. Objectively I believe that Fightstar have an association with emotional music that cannot be paralleled by any other rock band, for instance Funeral For A Friend, do have emotional lyrics but the melodies are fixated on repetitive heavy key and bland vocal talents. Grand Unification (Part 2) is the epitome of an emotional song, with ingenious references to physics, human activity to reflect upon emotional discontent, the track screams effort and beauty, quite simply nearing emotional music perfection.
The album ends with 'Wake Up', and fine blend of Alex and Charlie’s vocal talents to portray a sense of unconsciousness to the album, to the fact that most of the individuals listening to the album will be surprised to how good Fightstar actually are. The repetition of "Wake up" with an orchestral injection states that the ignorant listeners out there will have to snap out of this false trance of prejudice that has occurred from Charlie and Busted, and appreciate Fightstar for what they are. Charlie has been on a path in his life, all of which we should never scrutinize as it has lead to one of the best rock bands of our time.
Grand unification nails near perfection, and scores a 9.8/10 - A must buy to all rock/open minded listeners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 31 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
I don't think there is a song I don't love on this album, but 'Waste a Moment' is my absolute favourite. It's worth buying it just for that in my opinion. x
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing debut from a stunning band, 14 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
This album is absolutely fantastic. As I listened it to for the first time I actually began to wonder when I last heard such an incredible debut album from a band. The songs are melodic but heavy and the concept behind the album (that the world has destroyed itself due to its problems and a new world is awakening) is great. Usually on any record you tend to find some album fillers which really you could do without but on Grand Unification there are none, every single song belongs there and more importantly needs to be there. The way Simpson and Westaway harmonise and share the vocals is brilliant and the talent show by the whole band is immense. Fightstar have displayed that they are able to write a variety of songs, ranging from the heavy Build An Army to the epic Mono which swells into crescendo after crescendo efortlessly. It just makes you wonder how on earth Fightstar will make a second album as amazing as this one.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Objective Approach – Fightstar – Grand Unification Album, 16 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
It has been two or so years from the separation of Charlie Simpson and Busted, and the transition or more appropriately progression has been some what impressive and ultimately respectful.
The forming of Fightstar seemed be unique, and unfortunately unnecessarily scrutinized, as the ignorant majority of music reviewers and listeners would quite simply base all their views on Fightstars music with an inevitable reference to 'Busted'.
Let's go back for a second, Charlie was 15 when he was forth embraced by a music company as he was recognised for his vocal and musical talents, he was offered a fantastic opportunity to become famous, and ideally to all teenagers, leave school! As an individual fixated on heavy rock such as 'Machine Head' it seemed relatively unusual for him to execute and perform such pop like songs, but all of which got him famous and relatively rich, now be realistic, would you say no to that. Remedy is the key theme here and Charlie has progressed to a scene that suits and reflects him. "For the first time since I was 15, I like what I’m playing"(Charlie Simpson).
Flash to 2006, and the release of Grand Unification has had a massive impact on me in many different ways both emotionally and musically. As a guitar player for 3/4 years now I can appreciate a good riff when I hear one, and this album is completely jammed packed of fantastic, harmonised and differentiated riffs that scream authenticity to Charlie and the talented players in Fightstar. The opening to the album "To Sleep" symbolises a new path for Fightstar, a nostalgic beginning of unknown paths and mystical circumstances, ambiguous in many ways but it all builds up to the hell raising Grand Unification (Part 1), a path has been born.

One aspect of this album must be taken into consideration, this is Fightstar's debut and the album does consist of a few tracks such as 'Mono' and 'Lost Like Tears In Rain’, which have been previously released on their EP 'They Liked You Better When You Where dead'. Although they have been released before, geniously fightstar have replicated the songs and fine tuned them into a new concoction of melodies to suit the overall progression of the band. Subsequently showing dedication and appreciation to the fans and buyers of their music.
The majority of the album stands out to me, and such tracks as "Build An Army" and ' Lost Like Tears In Rain' enable Fightstar to be associated with the heavy/emotional musical scene. Objectively I believe that Fightstar have an association with emotional music that cannot be paralleled by any other rock band, for instance Funeral For A Friend, do have emotional lyrics but the melodies are fixated on repetitive heavy key and bland vocal talents. Grand Unification (Part 2) is the epitome of an emotional song, with ingenious references to physics, human activity to reflect upon emotional discontent, the track screams effort and beauty, quite simply nearing emotional music perfection.
The album ends with 'Wake Up', and fine blend of Alex and Charlie’s vocal talents to portray a sense of unconsciousness to the album, to the fact that most of the individuals listening to the album will be surprised to how good Fightstar actually are. The repetition of "Wake up" with an orchestral injection states that the ignorant listeners out there will have to snap out of this false trance of prejudice that has occurred from Charlie and Busted, and appreciate Fightstar for what they are. Charlie has been on a path in his life, all of which we should never scrutinize as it has lead to one of the best rock bands of our time.
Grand unification nails near perfection, and scores a 9.8/10 - A must buy to all rock/open minded listeners.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 5 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
Everytime i talk about Fightstar with my friends, they go isn't that the band with Charlie from Busted?* Sighs* Yes it is! Then they burst out laughing, probably because they're into all the screamo hardcore metal. This is a great album, go and buy it! Paint Your Target i had heard before, i didn't think much of it. Then i heard Waste A Moment, and loved it!! If you're into the whole Emo scene, go for it, you won't forget it!! Charlie has changed since his days from Busted, beleive me! I urge you to buy it!!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is big, but it's not entirely clever., 1 May 2006
By 
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
Following on from their tentatively, but ultimately well-received EP, Fightstar finally give us a full scale look at what they're all about: namely big, meaty chords; big, meaty vocals (from Simpson at least); big meaty production and, frankly, lackluster lyrics.

The band's talents are shown to their fullest on 'Grand Unification Pt 1', 'Paint Your Target' and 'Mono', though the ending of the latter demonstrates the over-eagerness of producer Colin Richardson to tack that little extra something to the some of the tracks and detract from their quality.

'Sleep Well Tonight' and 'Build an Army' on the other hand are both potentially good tracks spoiled by a feeble and unimaginative verse. Both have their moments, but the songs as a whole are very weak.

Then there are the lyrics:

"I'm alone and self-anaemic

But sometimes you wake up

If I could hold this rope inside my hands

You'd understand they let us down"

(Waste a Moment)

What...?

The whole album is full of verses put together for the sake of the rhyme and practically every track is about someone sleeping/waking too much/little. After Palahniuk's Laughter, we shouldn't be surprised, but the lyrics often jarr.

However, like Palahniuk's Laughter, this album is about the sound as a whole. Charlie Simpson's voice is perfectly suited to the music (perhaps why he sounded so rubbish when trying to sing pop songs). He regularly (and thankfully) drowns out singing partner Al Westaway and produces a sound you wouldn't expect from someone of his tender years. And there's little restraint to the playing; the band merrily going all out to fill each track with as much noise as possible, without it all becoming a tiresome drone, so expect to be banging your head a lot.

Grand Unification is a good, but not great, debut album and Fightstar need to garner some experience - as well as some more focused production and legible lyrics - if they're to have any hope of releasing a superior follow-up.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened to that nice boy from Busted?, 6 May 2006
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
This will have Busted fans running screaming to the hills, never to be seen again. Not a duff track anywhere, the production is first rate with a maturity of song writing that makes it difficult to believe that this is the band's debut album. Stand out track for me is the brutal Build an Army which has all the subtlety of a tank shell to the head. Terrific stuff.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont knock it just because its Charlie.., 6 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Grand Unification (Audio CD)
As my title says, don't knock the album or the band for that matter just because its got exBusted member Charlie as its headliner.
I went to Leeds festival in 2005 and Fightstar played in the NME tent and they did not get a good reception, numerous bottles etc
thrown. However, the set they played was very good, even for one of the first times theyve played to a crowd of around 1000, its surprising how many those tents can hold :)
If the songs were released by a band without Charlie as headman, they would get so much more respect and singles sold, so in that respect, its rather unfair..
Anyway, to the album, the album is GOOD. I am a big fan of Fightstar, they make some good music.
Towards the end of the song there tends to be the songs most people no, mainly the songs on 'They liked us better..' such as Mono, Lost like tears etc, however the glaring anamoly is the exclusion of Palahniuks Laughter.
Nevertheless, the album starts strong with Grand unification pt 1, with the lines 'If something happens, please come home'
Waste a moment has a good riff, but overall a mediocre song, but sleep well tonight is a good tune, melodic, yet strong. This tends to be the pattern with Fightstar, as Amazon says, they are similar to Hell is for Heroes, who are in their own right, a very good band.
I have to say, Paint your target is a good track, a lot of screaming/shouting, but its justified and well done, none of this random useless things. The chorus is very emo, yet meaningfull and not wrist slitting stuff..
''You can burn it all,
Rally around the table if you want to,
Just to argue out the last scenes of us,
You can end it all,
I'm sorry enough to tell you that I'm okay and I'm never gonna see you again ''
And the album concludes with Mono, hazy eyes etc, all strong songs..
Therefore, to conclude after this rather long review, it is an album to buy and listen to over and over, i have still yet to get bored of it, and is a refreshing change from the usual junk many 'rock' bands churn out.
So Charlie, and the boys of Fightstar, who dont get enough credit, it has my thumbs up, and i look forward to you touring.
Its just a shame you're not coming to Nottingham, and the gigs will be packed with ex-Busted fans screaming 'Busted' and 'Charlie' as they did at Leeds.. but on the music front.. extremly good :)
Jake
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