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
Euphoric celebration of dance music let down by strange orchestration and sound issues
Collection of originals and adaptations bears witness to Taylor's understated brilliance
World Music Fest gets muddy but Senegalese and systems folk group shine
Surfing across the global bandwidths at the top world music festival
A muscular psychedelic debut from Portugal that heads straight for the dance-floor
Welsh star's songs show their age, country pop duo's their youth in spirited alfresco show
The Only Ones frontman pops up for a rare and riveting performance
Torpid sixth album from former freak-folker Andy Cabic
Lavish box set puts a new twist on the great American songbook
The legendary Cuban ensemble’s 40th anniversary celebration doesn’t quite take off
The difficult fourth album from London indie stalwarts
From seaside nostalgia to a consumerist jihadi paradise, we list the sounds of summer