11 August 2008
by Pete Lockey
Fightstar return, almost a year on from their last full length release, with a collection of b-sides, rarities and one new track. With the band only having two albums and an early EP to their name it could be seen as something of a gamble.
If there had been a smattering of badly reworked songs and b-sides on Alternate Endings it is likely cynical fingers would have pointed at a money-making ploy by label and band alike. After all it seems that a certain section of the alternative music press needs no excuse to get on Charlie Simpson‘s back.
Fortunately, this album contains some real gems. The cover of Judas Priest‘s ‘Breaking The Law’ sees the band on top form, with crackling drums giving way to Simpson’s vocals ripping through huge riffs. It’s a very risky cover that pays very high reward.
Another ambitious cover version is possibly the highlight of the album. ‘Minerva’ is a classic Deftones anthem, but in stripping it out into an electro-acoustic affair, Fightstar create a bastardisation of Deftones and Team Sleep, Chino Moreno’s oft-heralded side project. Spaced-out and dreamy, it closes the album perfectly.
Watch the uncut video to ‘Deathcar’ by Fightstar
The new track, ‘Where’s The Money Lebowski?’ is perhaps the heaviest track on the album and again Simpson’s vocals sound superb, although a slightly sloppy main riff detracts at times. This, however, is one of the few underwhelming moments on an album that will satisfy hardcore fans’ lust for new material and also act as a riposte to those who still lazily criticise the band.
Fightstar are rapidly moving to the forefront of the British rock scene and this release is hopefully just a precursor of what is to come.
Alternate Endings by Fightstar will be released on 11 August 2008 on Institute Recordings