Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Lostprophets - Weapons


I approach this new record in the same way I've approached every other new Lostprophets record, by hoping they've gone back to their roots, back to the sound and fury of Fake Sound of Progress. I have got all of their other albums though and I like them all, but for me nothing comes close to that first album.

I remember seeing them live in Leeds a few years back and hoping they'd play the title track of said album, but it never came, although they did play Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja.

Anyway enough about that, onto Weapons.

Tracklist:-

1. Bring 'em down
2. We Bring An Arsenal
3. Another Shot
4. Jesus Walks
5. A Song For Where I'm From
6. A Little Reminder That I'll Never Forget
7. Better Off Dead
8. Heart On Loan
9. Somedays
10. Can't Get Enough



Bring 'Em Down begins and immediately sounds like a bona fide set opener. Punchy beats, gang vocals and crunchy guitars, add to Ian Watkins recognisable voice.
It's instantly danceable and recognisable as a 'Prophets song. The closing minute of the song is pretty epic, with a breakdown featuring more electronics that will surely induce a pit or two.

The start of We Bring An Arsenal sounds like a footy chant. The music is cleaner and the production is exactly as you'd expect. It's poppy and tuneful and will only further increase their reputation as purveyors of radio friendly rock anthems.

Another Shot starts with anthemic instrumental electronics and pounding drums, but makes way for a gentile verse. It's a very heartfelt song, which is something that Lostprophets have been very good at creating recently. So far, I think this song is one of the standouts on Weapons. It may not be the most vibrant or upbeat song on the record, but it's got some great melody and feel to it.

Jesus Walks sounds like a cross between Liberation Transmission mixed with the melody of Katy Perry. It definitely shows off Ian Watkins knack for a good melody and the ability of 'Prophets to write a damn good tune. The same can be said for A Song For Where I'm From. It's got more punch and that semi-rock ballad vibe too it that which has hit of the summer, written all over it.

A Little Reminder That I'll Never Forget kicks off the second half of Weapons and the poppy elements are still obvious, with no sign of their heavier, more acerbic past. Still, it's a great song that you can help but sing along too. It's catchy as hell!

Better Off Dead has elements of Start Something's sound too it at the start. There's even rapping that makes up the first verse and just reminds me of Sum 41. It's a welcome change to their sound, from the more commercial songs that came before it.
It's sounds heavier towards the end too, with some great guitar/bass lines and rousing gang vocals.

Heart On Loan sees Lostprophets sliding back into their trademark sound. Somedays is an acoustic song that slows the pace down slightly. The song actually does a good job of accentuating Ian Watkins tuneful vocals. There's still that big drum sound though, which gives it some bite and energy.

So it's left to last song Can't Get Enough to close out Weapons. Looking at the song length on my laptop, it says fifteen minutes! That's long for a Lostprophets song and initially it sound pretty epic. The rhythm kicked out by the drums is cool and the orchestral music in the background shows that they aren't averse to writing their version of a rock opera! This song would sound massive live.

That bit about it being fifteen minutes long is a bit misleading as the actual song ends after five minutes, which must mean there's a secret track. And there is! About two minutes and forty seconds from the end, Lostprophets break into the heaviest song they've written since their first album. It's a hardcore inspired racket, with an angelically melodic chorus. It's well worth waiting for as well!

So in summary then, Weapons is another really solid album, full of great hooks and slick production. It's brief enough across its ten songs to show that Lostprophets have found that winning formula, but full of enough variation and ideas to show they're still not afraid to experiment. That secret track is awesome as well and is my highlight.

You can pick up Weapons from all the usual outlets, but make sure you head over too http://lostprophets.com/, where you can watch videos and here samples of Weapons. They even do it on sumptuous vinyl!

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