Fivestar Riot - Unfamiliar Sky (Cover Artwork)

Fivestar Riot

Fivestar Riot: Unfamiliar SkyUnfamiliar Sky (2005)

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:

Contributed by: Matt_WhelihanMatt Whelihan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Fivestar Riot are a young band that falls victim to the problems of many young bands. The band doesn't quite seem to have figured out what sound they are going for, and the lyrics dip into the cliché a little too often. The EP opens with "Unfamiliar Sky." The band uses a dumbed down American Foo.
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Fivestar Riot are a young band that falls victim to the problems of many young bands. The band doesn't quite seem to have figured out what sound they are going for, and the lyrics dip into the cliché a little too often.

The EP opens with "Unfamiliar Sky." The band uses a dumbed down American Football riff, electronic drums, and a keyboard backing to give off a Minus The Bear electro-indie pop feel. The song moves along pretty well until about a minute in when some of the electronics seem to drop out on the wrong beat and make for an awkward and distracting moment.

From there the band moves into "Better," a Juliana Theory-styled pop-rock track where the band seems the most comfortable. The structure is interesting, the melodies are right on target, the bass lines are intricate, and the backing vocals are well-placed and executed. The only problem here is the cliché lyrics and typical rhymes like "When I turn around all I see is distance that keeps me from you and you from me," and "If something's broken, we'll make it right / We're not giving up on this tonight."

The third track "Through the Rain" is perhaps the most out of place track on the EP. It opens with screechy, harmonic Thrice riffs and then moves along like a simpler version of a Thursday song complete with backing screams. It just really doesn't seem to fit the with the indie pop that comes before it or the emo/pop-punk that comes after it; instead, it comes off like the band have just been listening to too much Hawthorne Heights.

The band moves back into its pop territory with "Mischief And Mayhem (Sweet Sixteen)." The song is a catchy piece of emo but it just sounds so familiar. The lyrics also run into problems again; "Where are you going? Don't leave I'll be there soon. I've got something to share with you," just leave a little to be desired.

The EP closes out with "Celebrity," a song whose opening passage sounds almost identical to Saves The Day's "Firefly." Again, its dynamics just seem a little too familiar, and then the song suddenly drops from a mid-tempo rocker into a piano interlude with a dance beat leaving you wondering if the band has just started a new song. Finally, it closes with another Saves The Day rip-off. This time the building guitars and repeated vocal line recall the closing of "My Sweet Fracture."

Fivestar Riot are a young band who are still developing their sound. The vocals are surprisingly strong and the band can bust out some great hooks and catchy parts, but they still seem a little confused as to where they want to go. Their influences are still too prominent in their tone, but they've got plenty of potential.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

great album

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

For balance:

Fivestar Riot
Unfamiliar Sky
I predict a riot. Oops, that's another band. Fivestar Riot is a youthful (in the sleeve picture they look like they're in their late teens) American alternative pop/rock group that has absorbed quite a bit of post-grunge from the likes of Incubus and 3 Doors Down. While that won't win them votes in the dogmatic ears of aging rock critics, Fivestar Riot aren't trying to court East Coast hipsters in black trench coats. No, they're simply a well-meaning band with an evolving musical chemistry, an appealing vocalist and a collection of straightforward, heart-on-the-sleeve rockers that would be embraced by the WB's teen dramas.

While the band's material hasn't risen to the level that their talent promises, most of the songs on this five-track EP are memorable enough for me to reward it with a thumbs up. I say "most" because the title song, the first track on the EP, seems half-finished; it's an experiment in prog-rock doodling that quits on itself just as it starts to build up and become interesting. Perhaps on a full-length, Fivestar Riot will complete the saga in a George Lucas-ish manner. After that, it's smooth sailing for Fivestar Riot as they deliver the goods: four songs of emotional turmoil that seem like "Dear John" letters from home.

Kyrby Raine

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

Fivestar Riot? More like, TWOstar Riot!

Anonymous (June 8, 2005)

I thought they'd be a street punk band with that name. Oi, oi!


Anonymous (June 7, 2005)

Let me be the first to say this review sucks.

Anonymous (June 7, 2005)

first to say that this album sucks

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