tue 21/10/2014

CD: Lostprophets - Weapons | New music reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lostprophets - Weapons

What you don't know about the Welsh hard-rockers: they know how to bring the noise

Fifteen years on, Lostprophets are still arena-ready

Before I came to what I was surprised to discover is a fifth album from hard-rock six-piece Lostprophets, there were two things I knew about the band: firstly, that they are Welsh; and secondly, that they showed up in magazines like Kerrang! a lot back when I was in high school.

Alternative rock in the 1990s wasn’t well known for either its staying power or its crossover appeal, so for a band to still be filling mid-sized venues 15 years on they must be getting by on more than tattoos, skateboards-as-accessories and misguided rap interludes (although I’d maybe steer clear of track seven). At the mid-point of Weapons, the album on the back of which Lostprophets aims to sell out those academies and arenas, “A Song for Where I’m From” is as good a calling card as any. I might not know much about Pontypridd, where much of the band’s original line-up calls home, but I know a song of small-town escape when I hear one. Its influence remains, even if it can no longer hold these crunching guitars and thrash-metal rhythms.

Opening track “Bring ‘Em Down” might burst with clichéd rage, but there’s something about Ian Watkins‘s distinctive howl and surprisingly tuneful chorus that raises the sum of the song’s parts above its awkward lyrics. After a slightly odd "wey-oh-wey-oh" that seems destined to go down better in the live setting than on record, “We Bring an Arsenal” turns into a game of call-and-response that is as addictive as it is angry, while “Another Shot” and “Heart on Loan” bristle with the need to be sung along to.

This is a band that knows where its strengths are - in simple, fist-pumping choruses and ferocious riffs. It’s not to say that they don’t play with the formula - towards the end of the album, the semi-acoustic “Somedays” is not without a certain earnest charm despite the predictability of some of its rhyming couplets - but the songs that step back a little are the ones that us newcomers are unlikely to be humming in the morning.

Take a listen to the album's rage-filled opener "Bring 'Em Down"


This is a band that knows where its strengths are - in simple, fist-pumping choruses and ferocious riffs

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