First off, can we all agree that Nickelback’s ‘Animals’ ruined that song title and anything close to it for everyone? When I first saw the name of this track I had a little sit down and swallowed frantically in an attempt to quell the sudden rush of bile to my throat. Eventually I regained composure as my mental NickelBlock kicked back in.
Luckily, the song itself bears absolutely no resemblance to the maniacal horror that its (almost) namesake unleashed unto the world. Fightstar have always been good at writing pretty heavy and catchy rock songs, comfortably straddling the divide between radio-friendly and shouty-enough-to-appease-the-greebos. In ‘Animal’, their first offering since 2010’s Be Human, the band lean a little toward the latter end of that spectrum, opening with a strong performance from the segment of Charlie Simpson’s vocal range labelled ‘Sorry, I used to be in what band?’
Balance is soon restored though; the delicacy we’ve come to expect from Fightstar’s previous records and Simpson’s two solo outings pokes its head out reassuringly through little key changes in the chorus, and is sustained by Alex Westaway’s backing vocals through the last quarter of the song.
Tight and varied, ‘Animal’ is more of what people have come to love about and expect from Fightstar. It’s loud yet accessible, gruff but pretty, and for a song outside the context of its album, it offers up an impressive degree of conflict and pathos.
You can listen to ‘Animal’ above. Fightstar’s fourth album Behind The Devil’s Back is due for release 16th October, and if ‘Animal’ is anything to go by, it’ll be a banger. Get excited.