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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Fightstar
Grand Unification
Trustkill

Rating: 6/10 ?


April 17, 2007
Walking the fine line between hardcore and modern rock you'll find Fightstar, the latest endeavor of former Busted frontman Charlie Simpson. On his new band's Trustkill debut, Grand Unification, the pop-punk leanings of Simpson's roots are largely absent, instead having been replaced by aggressive, straightforward riffs and frenetic drumming. While clearly divergent, this new, harder-edged format is one which is actually well suited to Simpson's vocals.

The melodic tendencies from Busted do resurface in some instances, such as "Sleep Well Tonight," which finds Simpson's layered harmonies and even gentle balladry at work between scream sessions that, in contrast, sound quite out of place. Elsewhere, "Lost Like Tears Like Rain" lingers too long in the shallow pond that is emo, moving Fightstar further from establishing the credibility a hard rock debut works toward in the first place.

Pitfalls aside, there are some fairly solid songs here, such as the two part title-track, in which Simpson delves into a groove along with his bandmates. These tracks offer Fightstar at their most cohesive and show signs of things to come. "Mono" sweeps heavily while lumbering at a slow enough pace to build toward the album's best instrumental moment.

Even with various bright spots, Grand Unification is an album in search of a genre by a band finding that it's slow going when it comes to establishing an identity.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner

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