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Published 17th May 2012
Lostprophets recently commented that their music has “staying power”, before adding they would like to bring “emotion and message” back to music. Since their debut Thefakesoundofprogress hit the airwaves over a decade ago, the old guard of nu-metal has time and again proven their ability to shift records. Not content with smashing the transatlantic barrier with Start Something (2004) and Liberation Transmission (2006), in 2010 they returned with The Betrayed, their most accomplished album to date.
In contrast, Weapons is a curious blip on an otherwise upward trajectory for the boys from Pontypridd. At its best, the album conveys the same fury and bombast that rocketed their previous efforts to platinum success; stalwart monolith Bring Em’ Down and sing-along anthem We Bring An Arsenal pack an opening punch, while the resounding chorus of Better Off Dead, ‘I’d rather die on my feet/than ever live on my knees’ is a rallying cry to arms, brimming with defiance, angst and idealism.
Yet despite an urgent denouncement of political apathy, there is a frustrating sense that we have been here before. Where The Betrayed brought innovation, atmosphere and a newfound maturity, Weapons is undermined by pop filler, at times resembling the forgotten refuse of Liberation Transmission. For every Rooftops inspired Jesus Walks, there is the plodding tedium of Another Shot and Heart on Loan, which fail to make an impact.
This is by no means an unnecessary compilation of B-sides; Weapons is fun, loud and extremely listenable. Yet its lack of substance, on top of its inability to break new territory, is a worrying development from a band that has never before shown signs of growing stale. Lostprophets’ continued determination to reinvigorate chart music is admirable, however this is not the album to do it.