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ALBUM REVIEW: Lostprophets, Weapons

TITLE: Weapons
BAND: Lostprophets
LABEL: Epic Records
RELEASED: April 2nd 2012

Welsh alternative rockers Lostprophets have come back with their heaviest, loudest record to date and I think it really blows their previous efforts out of the water. With their album Liberation Transmission, released in 2006, being one of my favourite albums ever, they had some tough work improving on it. The very album cover suggested that it might be similar, as both Liberation Transmission and Weapons feature black and white script and Latin slogans. Liberation Transmission sports “nobis pro lemma vobis”, roughly translated as “for us, for them, for you” and Weapons’ cover says “deus velox nux” meaning “God is swift death”. However, I wasn’t all that impressed with their last album The Betrayed, so I was hoping for something bigger and better.

I actually bought the album on its release date and I’ve listened to it almost non-stop since then, so I guess that says something about what I think of it. Although there are some really good songs on it, there are also some that you are forgettable. For example, I don’t think Another Shot, A Little Reminder That I’ll Never Forget or Can’t Get Enough have a particular wow-factor that I think some of the other songs do.

Bring ‘Em Down is the album’s debut single and it’s certainly done well, since its radio debut on February 6th by Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. It has peaked at number four in the UK Rock Chart and it’s still doing well. Packed full of strong drum beats, crazy guitar solos mixed with subtle electro sounds and Ian Watkins’ signature tone, it’s a track that immediately makes you recognise them. Along with Jesus Walks and Heart On Loan, Bring ‘Em Down is definitely a song that should be on everyone’s summer playlist.

A Song For Where I’m From is a song that stands out as particularly personal and the title is self-explanatory as to why. Frontman Ian has said to Kerrang! “It’s very nostalgic. I appreciate where I’m from and everything I did growing up. I don’t want to get overly sentimental about it, but there’s nowhere in my hometown where I don’t have a memory.” It’s a typical Lostprophets song about Pontypridd with melodic rock vocals and guitar riffs. It’s a track that anyone who has ever lived away from home for any period of time can relate to.

Better Off Dead was released as the B-side to Bring ‘Em Down and its catchy chorus, along with the rap style of the verses cause it to stand out on the album. It’s not the strongest in my opinion but it does certainly make the record more rounded and it offers something slightly different to their usual drum-heavy alt/rock. It does have chants, also featured in We Bring An Arsenal and the similarities between the two songs are actually plentiful.

Another song that stands out is Somedays, purely for its tempo and subject. It does resemble Always All Ways from Liberation Transmission, although for me, it doesnt quite have the same kick. It’s a song that is very human though and describes the joy of having someone to love and to love you. This is the one song on the album that inspires chill-out over freak-out.

Weapons is a classic alternative rock album and it does have some awesome tunes. Although it’s not dramatically different from other Lostprophets material, it has receive rave critical responses. I’m not sure it will gain any new fans but it won’t disappoint any existing ones and I really think a few of the better tracks could be electrifying, when played live.

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