"We have done nothing wrong, so now you ought to know- I will never bow to you again," Simpson bellows out in the opening track to Fightstar's third album Be Human. And this they haven't - with this release, they can claim the complete opposite.
Following on from the disappointing revenue of One Day Son, All This Will Be Yours and in turn their split with Gut Records, Charlie and the gang have picked themselves up and recorded a raw yet emphatically atmospheric record that somehow manages to romantically intertwine love, passion and sentiment, whilst remaining relevant to hardcore music lovers worldwide.
'War Machine' encapsulates all of the above and more; bringing to light the bands experimental capabilities and ardour for instruments outside the norm. "Some of us will die alone/Some of us will never reach the end of the road..." perform both as opening song lyrics and empowering depictions for the rest of the track, which would slip perfectly into an action movie soundtrack.
Be Human is probably not one for the real screamo metal fans out there as the band often slip into 'pretty' riffs and bounce-along rhythms; reference primarily to 'Never Change' and 'The Whisperer'. Critically, Be Human branches into softer, more melodic momentum at times when the ability to burst at the seams is by no means beyond the music produced. An injury to drummer Abidi's wrist mid-way through recording could be to blame for this.
Singles 'The English Way' and 'Mercury Summer' are definite album highlights, embracing the commercial radio market with pleasant yet surprisingly niche tracks - a skill not many rock artists have acquired.
'Colours Bleed To Red' and 'Damocles' will quench your head-banging thirst; the latter providing a slow and engrossing introduction that amounts to pure Metallica stardom.
In the past, you would be forgiven for loving Fightstar for mere protection of the band's credibility. Now however, their music must stand alone. Surely the Busted jibes are long gone and the "poshest man in rock" rumours are far beyond Charlie. Fightstar are here to make good progressive music - a task they can well and truly tick off their list. Be Human exemplifies the sound of Fightstar - that of true British rock.