were released

They Liked You Better When You Were Dead

They Liked You Better When You Were Dead is the debut Album from British post-hardcore band Fightstar. The record is inspired by author Chuck Palahniuk and the motion picture Fight Club. Guitarist, Alex Westaway drew the artwork based on Edward Norton for the inlay of the booklet. It was released on 28 February 2005 through Charlie Simpson's own Sandwich Leg Records, but was re-released on April 12, 2006 through Deep Elm Records.

Track listing

  1. "Palahniuk's Laughter" - 4:10
  2. "Speak Up" - 3:27
  3. "Mono" - 6:22
  4. "Lost Like Tears In Rain" - 4:07
  5. "Amethyst" - 4:20
  6. "Hazy Eyes [Hidden Track]" - 3:10

All Tracks Written by: Fightstar

UK 7" Vinyl Release

A 2-track, 7" Vinyl was also released with a limited run of 1000 copies. This was however, enough to see it reach #12 in the UK Indie Album Chart

  1. "Palahniuk's Laughter" - 4:10
  2. "Mono" - 6:22

US Release

This album has been subsequently released in the US and Japan, but are slightly different from the one described above. This was a limited digipack release in the UK. The US Version was released through Deep Elm Records unlike the UK and Japanese versions, which were released through Charlie Simpson's own Sandwich Leg Records. Both the US and Japanese releases come in hard cases and have different track listings, which are as follows:

  1. "Paint Your Target" - 3:18
  2. "Palahniuk's Laughter" - 4:10
  3. "Amethyst" - 4:20
  4. "Lost Like Tears In Rain" - 4:07
  5. "Speak Up" - 3:27
  6. "Until Then" 4:40
  7. "Cross Out The Stars" - 5:02
  8. "Hazy Eyes" - 3:10
  9. "Mono" - 6:22

Japanese Track Listing

  1. "Paint Your Target" - 3:18
  2. "Palahniuk's Laughter" - 4:10
  3. "Speak Up" - 3:27
  4. "Mono" - 6:22
  5. "Lost Like Tears In Rain" - 4:07
  6. "Amethyst" - 4:20


Following much abuse and criticism following the band's emergance due to Charlie Simpson's past, things began to turn in the band's favour. A string of positive reviews to early gig's were followed by a good reaction to the albums release:

"Fightstar is rapidly becoming a convincing part of the post-hardcore firmament and rock fans are jumping on board. Their debut They Liked You Better When You Were Dead raises eyebrows and seeing them scowling and lurching about a sweat-stained stage removes all doubt. This is the real fucking deal. The interaction between Simpson and Westaway is the backbone of the band. Often trading vocals (most notably to best effect on the goosebump-inducing gem Amethyst) the ease with which they operate makes it seemingly unfathomable that this is a new, fresh band. Fightstar's debut is great. Brilliant, in fact." - Kerrang!

"At a time when post-hardcore's torch seems to have been almost completely passed to succeeding generations of screamo bands, Fightstar stand firmly enough on the mother country of their genre to do well by the legacy of groups like Fugazi and Helmet. Vocalists Al Westaway and Charlie Simpson utilize a distinct sound that reaches total catharsis. The two share a fantastic vocal range, adding emotional complexity and balance through their arrangements. Train-like guitar work also adds strength to the record, creating drama and tension in the key moments. The driving force behind most of the songs, however, is the rhythm section. The tight bass lines and tighter drumming on They Liked You Better are what lead each track through its arc, shirking convention when things start to get cliched." - Allmusic

"On the strength of They Liked You Better When You Were Dead, Fightstar clearly demonstrate that they can hold their own in a world of heavy, emotional rock. Anyone who likes Muse, Biffy Clyro, Radiohead and even Scissorfight will find something to be absorbed in here. While Palahniuk's Laughter and Speak Up are the rabble rousing anthems, Amethyst is a beautifully crafted power ballad and Mono brings everything to a brooding gigantic climax. Brilliantly executed." - Rock Sound


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