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Grand Unification (UK Edition)

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Album Review

If one had not known the origins of the band Fightstar, one would be hard pushed to guess that not too many years prior to releasing the hardcore rock album Grand Unification, Charlie Simpson had been lapping up the adoration of teenage girls in a boy band. Admittedly, Busted had slightly more substance than Westlife or A1 but after years of releasing punk influenced pop with a schooldays theme, the debut Fightstar album had more in common with Funeral for a Friend, Machine Head, and Slipknot than Busted and McFly, which was hardly surprising as they had brought in Colin Richardson as producer, a man who had worked with all the former bands. The debut single to be released was "Paint Your Target" which caused some controversy when the video depicted some school children engaged in a war. There is no hint of what is to follow as the album opened with a dreamy acoustic instrumental, "To Sleep," and then the feedback of Alex Westaway's guitar crashed in and the first part of "Grand Unification" arrived. The second part, later in the album, had a spoken interlude and a softly sung melody over a chilled out song that wouldn't have been out of place on a Coldplay album, at least its first two minutes. Between the two parts was a hard rock album — what might have once been called thrash metal, but now might be called emo — with heavy hitting guitar chords and screamed vocals. It's not quite as angry as Slipknot, but not too far behind, either, although "Build an Army" certainly sounds like a call to arms. If this was what Charlie Simpson had inside him, no wonder he wanted out of Busted. [The CD was also released with a bonus track.]

Customer Reviews

Grand Unification

I am a huge, huge fan of this album. Fightstar are absolutely amazing and the album is one of those albums that i can listen to without skipping a track. Every single track is amazing, with some of the best being, Waste a Moment, Lost Like Tears In Rain, Hazy Eyes and Mono. I never even realised it was Charlie Simpson from busted as the lead singer until i saw one of their music video's on Kerrang!. I think he has made the best decision of his life in doing Fightstar. And I can't wait for another album to come out. My rating on this is 9/10. Top 6 1 - Hazy Eyes 2 - Mono 3 - Waste A Moment 4 - Sleep Well Tonight 5 - Lost Like Tears In Rain 6 - Grand Unification Pt. 1 Song Ratings To Sleep - 8.5/10 Grand Unification Pt.1 - 9.5/10 Waste A Moment - 10/10 Sleep Well Tonight - 9.5/10 Paint Your Target - 10/10 Build An Army - 9/10 Here Again (Last Conversation) - 9/10 Lost Like Tears In Rain - 10/10 Open You Eyes - 9.5/10 Mono - 10/10 Hazy Eyes - 10/10 Grand Unification Pt.2 - 7/10 Wake Up - 9/10


This album is pure genius, everytime i put it on i cant get enough of it, with the genius melodies of sleep well tonight, here again, wake up etc. Please buy this album anyone who rates this album below 4 stars knows f**k all about good music.

absolutely immense

i saw these dudes recently live....really powerful stuff, charlie is an immensely talented guitarist and i have masses of respect for the band. the riffs in songs like sleep well tonight are awesome....simply grest stuff from start to finish. so under-rated it hurts


Formed: London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

London-based post-hardcore outfit Fightstar came to life in the mid-2000s when guitarist/vocalist Charlie Simpson was actually still a member of the U.K. pop trio Busted. Itching to tap more fully into his rock side, a random jam at a party soon turned into Simpson writing and playing songs on the side with guitarist Al Westaway and drummer Omar Abdid. Realizing they needed a bass player to enter the studio, a schoolmate of Westaway's, Dan Haigh, soon joined Fightstar's ranks. Rehearsing and playing...
Full bio
Grand Unification (UK Edition), Fightstar
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  • £11.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, Hard Rock
  • Released: 01 January 2006

Customer Ratings