Monday, 16 April 2012

Review: Lostprophets - Weapons

 I have to stop going abroad. I have missed a ton of major rock and metal releases so that I could go abroad to Tenerife and get sunburn. My logic is ridiculous. However, I've made my return and with no plan to leave the wonderful UK for the rest of the year, I'll try to make sure I'm never to far from any major release. So, to begin my desperate comeback, my best choice of what to do right now i to review what has probably been one of the biggest selling albums since my departure. I don't actually know if it has been biggest selling, but it's a band that people at my school have actually heard of and my school's not exactly filled with hipsters, so it's highly likely that it was. Let's look at Weapons by Lostprophets.

 Without a doubt, Lostprophets are a band that have tasted the victory of being at the forefront of the British rock scene. With countless stadium filler anthems like Last Train Home, Burn Burn and Rooftops under their belt, it's clear that they've left a major impact on the world of modern rock as we know it. However, in recent years, the Pontypridd sextet have seen this leading position decline and in 2012, the Prophets are living in the shadows of the Biffys, the Shikaris and the... Yous Mes at Sixes. It's little wonder that their fighting attitude is still present even on their fifth album Weapons.
 As the mass buildup on opener Bring 'Em Down explodes into the heart-pounding array of frenzied riffs and pulsing electronics, the fighter attitude is unleashed and heard across the album, as the band chant the likes of "If you bring a gun, then we'll bring an arsenal/ if you think we're done, we'll bring it, we'll sing it" on We Bring an Arsenal or "Adversity has become part of my destiny/ I'd rather die on my feet, than ever live on my knees." on the uncontrollable rap rock assault of Better Off Dead.
 This attitude is the main tone of weapons and the result is mostly a collection of gutsy hard rock song. Needless to say, aggression isn't always at the helm of the mind of frontman Ian Watkins. Jesus Walks is definitely the most feel-good hit that Lostprophets have created as gentle atmospheric synth backdrops heighten the warm sweetness the song provides. Sweet enough for the other songs aimed to divert listeners from wanting to start wars in their own backyards don't really stand up in comparison. While still perfectly enjoyable, the performances on A Song For Where I'm From and the collection of "weepie" ballads Somedays, A Little Reminder That I'll Never Forget don't stand up quite as well in comparison. Somedays in particular is quite hilarious if you're not easily swayed by ballads and are a cynical bastard like myself.
 Overall, Weapons is a brilliant comeback effort from Lostprophets. Their sense of fighting spirit and anthemic glory that took them to the top of the rock scene in the first place lives within them and they're still very much capable of crafting songs that are genuinely epic in their sense of grandeur and furious performance. Well, it's fantastic to see these boys back. Even if they don't see themselves becoming modern rock legends again, their sense of ambition gives them the right to have such a title.

 Lostprophets' Weapons is out now via Epic. The band are on tour of the UK with Modestep.

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