Music

Lostprophets: Weapons

With Weapons, Lostprophets forgo expanding any of their musical boundaries and instead focuses on what has worked in the past. The result of this playing-it-safe routine is an inoffensive collection of tracks that fails to leave any lasting impression on the listener.


Lostprophets
Alum: Weapons
Label: Fearless US
US Release Date: 2012-06-19
UK Release Date: 2012-04-02
Artist website

With more than a decade of recording under their belts, Welsh-based Lostprophets have carved out their own niche in the legion of hard rock bands. They found some success in the middle of the last decade with singles "Last Train Home" and "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)" and hung around long enough to put out their fifth studio album, Weapons. With this new release, the sextet forgoes expanding any of their musical boundaries and instead focuses on what has worked in the past. The result of this playing-it-safe routine is an inoffensive collection of tracks that fails to leave any lasting impression on the listener.

It is not that Weapons fails to accomplish its goal, which is to reward the loyal fans Lostprophets have cultivated over the last four albums. The band is a known commodity, and those who are familiar with and enjoy the band's sound will find the record in line with their previous offerings. Rather, the album fails to accomplish anything new. It comes across as nu metal paint by numbers, complete with the cascading guitars, wailing vocals and over-the-top seriousness that currently abounds on the radio. Even on songs like "We Bring an Arsenal", which opens with a chant worthy of a soccer match, the band quickly reverts to polished rock that is comfortable rather than exciting. Other songs, like "Can't Get Enough" and "A Little Reminder That I'll Never Forget" play out in the familiar pattern, complete with slow-burning openings that eventually reach a crescendo of noise.

The genre has never been known to produce to most lyrically thought-provoking music and Lostprophets make no effort to dispel that stereotype. The band approaches every song having suffered a vague injustice, and the only resolution is to dust off and prepare for battle. Lead singer Ian Watkins attempts to provide a level of gravitas to the vocals, but can't overcome songs like "Better Off Dead" ("Adversity has become part of my destiny / I'd rather die on my feet / Than ever live on my knees") or "Jesus Walks" ("They tell you Jesus walks but baby he'll just walk away / No matter what you do you're gonna have to fight someday”). Perhaps the worst transgression of all, however, is the way the tracks just cannot deliver anything that will stay with you once they've ended. While the album is loud and fast, the failure to take chances means the songs slowly begin to bleed into one another. What's left is the musical equivalent of snowflakes, tracks with slight variations that melt away and are forgotten as soon as the next one appears.

Lostprophets has survived in music by understanding what their fans like and catering to them, but with Weapons, the band is firmly entrenched in their comfort zone. While that might excite long-time fans of the band, it provides little to those looking for innovation or excitement out of the genre.

3


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Film

Greta Gerwig's Adaptation of Loneliness in Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women'

Greta Gerwig's film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women strays from the dominating theme of existential loneliness.

Music

The Band's Discontented Third LP, 1970's 'Stage Fright', Represented a World Braving Calamity

Released 50 years ago this month, the Band's Stage Fright remains a marker of cultural unrest not yet remedied.

Music

Natalie Schlabs Starts Living the Lifetime Dream With "That Early Love" (premiere + interview)

Unleashing the power of love with a new single and music video premiere, Natalie Schlabs is hoping to spread the word while letting her striking voice be heard ahead of Don't Look Too Close, the full-length album she will release in October.

Music

Rufus Wainwright Makes a Welcome Return to Pop with 'Unfollow the Rules'

Rufus Wainwright has done Judy Garland, Shakespeare, and opera, so now it's time for Rufus to rediscover Rufus on Unfollow the Rules.

Music

Jazz's Denny Zeitlin and Trio Get Adventurous on 'Live at Mezzrow'

West Coast pianist Denny Zeitlin creates a classic and adventurous live set with his long-standing trio featuring Buster Williams and Matt Wilson on Live at Mezzrow.

Film

The Inescapable Violence in Netflix's I'm No Longer Here (Ya no estoy aqui)

Fernando Frías de la Parra's I'm No Longer Here (Ya no estoy aqui) is part of a growing body of Latin American social realist films that show how creativity can serve a means of survival in tough circumstances.

Music

Arlo McKinley's Confessional Country/Folk Is Superb on 'Die Midwestern'

Country/folk singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley's debut Die Midwestern marries painful honesty with solid melodies and strong arrangements.

Music

Viserra Combine Guitar Heroics and Female Vocals on 'Siren Star'

If you ever thought 2000s hard rock needed more guitar leads and solos, Viserra have you covered with Siren Star.

Music

Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts Honor Their Favorite Songs With "Oh No" (premiere)

Ryan Hamilton's "Oh No" features guest vocals from Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo, and appears on Nowhere to Go But Everywhere out 18 September.

Music

Songwriter Shelly Peiken Revisits "Bitch" for '2.0' Album (premiere)

A monster hit for Meredith Brooks in the late 1990s, "Bitch" gets a new lease on life from its co-creator, Shelly Peiken. "It's a bit moodier than the original but it touts the same universal message," she says.

Music

Leila Sunier Delivers Stunning Preface to New EP via "Sober/Without" (premiere)

With influences ranging from Angel Olsen to Joni Mitchell and Perfume Genius, Leila Sunier demonstrates her compositional prowess on the new single, "Sober/Without".

Music

Speed the Plough Members Team with Mayssa Jallad for "Rush Hour" (premiere)

Caught in a pandemic, Speed the Plough's Baumgartners turned to a faraway musical friend for a collaboration on "Rush Hour" that speaks to the strife and circumstance of our time.

Music

Great Peacock Stares Down Mortality With "High Wind" (premiere + interview)

Southern rock's Great Peacock offer up a tune that vocalist Andrew Nelson says encompasses their upcoming LP's themes. "You are going to die one day. You can't stop the negative things life throws at you from happening. But, you can make the most of it."

Music

The 80 Best Albums of 2015

Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.

Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.