Lostprophets - Start Something

Lostprophets have been away for quite a while. Three years to be precise – their anticipated live return at last summer’s Carling Weekend was pulled due to album commitments in LA, evidence that they were indeed still alive and kicking. Their debut outing, 2001’s ‘The Fake Sound Of Progress’ made them bona fide underground rock stars. Blending the best parts of nu-metal and hardcore, they captured the imagination of the disillusioned youth across the country and flirted with chart success with singles like ‘Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja’ and ‘The Fake Sound Of Progress’.

On ‘Start Something’, these Welsh valley boys have created a record that will no doubt elevate them to the realms of CD:UK and Top Of The Pops, whilst at the same time will placate their grass roots following. Such is the considered mix of all out rockers and more accessible, radio friendly tracks. The album benefits hugely from production that’s more spruced up than Christina Aguilera on her birthday, but this is no bad thing. It suits their sound, a fatal cocktail of bludgeoning guitars and turn table effects. If there was one thing that plagued their debut, it was that the songs were too ambitious for the limited production they received, subsequently sounding a bit unripe in parts.

‘We Still Kill The Old Way’ is an atomic bomb of an opener, it’s the hardest and fastest thing they’ve ever written and rocks as hard as any of their US counterparts. ‘To Hell We Ride’ offers something very similar, but Ian Watkins is not void of an ear for melody – the knee crippling choruses of ‘Last Train Home’ and ‘Burn Burn’ should ensure them heavy circulation on MTV.

They’ve been labelled as a boyband with guitars, and on ‘Goodbye Tonight’ they hint at something not a million miles away from Busted, but all in all this is a very well executed album that may well earn them acceptance into the illustrious US market, which is more than any British band have done since Radiohead topped the charts over there with 'Kid A.' For this they must be applauded. They must also be applauded for gracing us with what is one of the albums of the year so far. With their buddies Funeral For A Friend creating similar waves here and stateside, it looks like angst ridden Welsh rock is here to stay. Write them off at your peril.

Jeremy Lloyd