Review: Lostprophets- Weapons

In keeping with the trend of excellent music in early 2012, we have the latest release from those Welsh punk-rockers Lostprophets, who much like the last band I reviewed, are showing maturity not only in lyrics but also in sound. Over the course of their first four studio albums, they got quite a lot out of their system: the unrefined sound from their debut, the screaming and inconsistency from “Start Something,” the repetitive mainstream sound of “Rooftops”-their only true international hit-from Liberation Transmission, and finally the bitter hatred and despair from “The Betrayed.” The last had me worried, but have no fear, this album is a return to form in the best way.

This is the very rare album on which there isn’t one song I skip. If you’re a fan of the band, you can contently sit with this album on repeat for weeks.  Even the two singles that followers of the band got a taste of last month haven’t lost their appeal at all. “Better off Dead” has remained one of my favorites even amidst the other nine stellar songs.

Don’t mistake my saying Lostprophets have matured for saying that they’re done experimenting. “Better off Dead” is incredibly experimental in its fusion of genres, while “A Little Reminder That I’ll Never Forget” blends the band’s form of rock with a more indie sound, without ever sacrificing the distinct Lostprophets feel. Another high point is “A Song for Where I’m From,” which is a smashing success in that it captures the feeling of homesickness in a heavier sound without going laughably overboard like A Day to Remember did.

I could go through each individual song and give ten reasons why they’re great in their own ways, but I’m forced to highlight three standouts. There’s no question every song deserves several thorough listens.

Ian Watkins described their last album as their most “raw” in one interview, and “Weapons” is a huge step forward from that. It maintains the emotional power while moving in a much lighter direction. While this album still doesn’t have an individual song to beat out “Can’t Catch Tomorrow” as my number one Lostprophets song ever, every song on this album shot into my top 15, which is what earns it an extremely enthusiastic five stars.

It may seem like I’m handing out perfect scores like candy, but these last few albums have earned that perfect score. If you only get to check out one album this April, make it “Weapons.”

-Nick Minarik

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