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
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"
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Avant-garde art-pop from erstwhile BAFTA nominee
The American soul great’s late-Sixties to mid-Eighties captured on a hefty, in-depth snapshot
PiL builds up a head of steam with its second comeback record
An exercise in musical archaeology unearths a modern classic
Anglo-Kenyan collaboration proves captivating
A wild time was had by all until rain stopped play…
Psychedelic Swedes lay down some mind-blowing pagan ritual music
Exquisite enervation on Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s fifth album
The energised first two solo albums from the wilful former Teardrop Explodes frontman
A beautiful collection of new songs that comes dressed up in old clothes
A solid 22nd album from Lemmy’s veteran rockers
A magisterial, skip-proof collection that delivers a powerful emotional jolt