Lostprophets - Weapons
From nu-metal rapping to shiny, pretty-boy stadium rock, Lostprophets' transition has been a relatively tame one. The 16 year-old in me was excited to hear what the leaders of the Welsh rock revolution had to say with Weapons after the disappointment of 2010's The Betrayed but, unfortunately, they've continued to tread the same old path.
‘Better Off Dead’ sees frontman Ian Watkins return to rapping verses, something that really should have been left back in 2001. The opening riff is slow, to the point of sluggish, failing to provoke the adrenaline rush of previous singles ‘Rooftops’ and ‘Burn Burn’. By contrast, ‘Somedays’ is an acoustic ballad, which with its droning vocals and predictable song structure fails to properly take off. In many respects, many of these tracks could easily be mistaken for b-sides from the Liberation Transmission era.
However it’s not all bad. ‘We Bring an Arsenal’, with its anthemic chorus and fist pumping ‘woah oh woah oh!’ is clearly the strongest track of the album. Knowing Lostprophets’ capability to produce a tight live performance, audiences are going to love this one. The breakdown before the final manic chorus is bound to produce some scary circle pits - you can practically smell the sweat just listening to it. New drummer Luke Johnson also seems to finally bring some stability to their sound, with his neat fills and more adventurous, percussive styling.
No doubt Lostprophets will continue to fill the arenas that their sound is best suited to, but Weapons lacks energy and originality. Maybe when played live the Welsh six-piece might be able to bring these songs to life, but on record it just doesn’t cut it.