Photo: James Dimmock
Pontypridd rockers Lostprophets return this month with their fourth studio album 'The Betrayed' - their first since 2006's 'Liberation Transmission'. Boasting a fresh take on their radio friendly hooks and mixture of emotional power and mosh ready riffs, 'The Betrayed' is a solid, if not progressive, move for the band and will no doubt give their hordes of fans a whole new raft of favourite songs.
1. If It Wasn't For Hate We'd Be Dead By Now
A stomping drum beat gives way to distorted riffs and we're off. Ian Watkins croons slowly about losing love, death and hypocrisy interspersed with screams and stadium sized hooks. A slow and short intro, this song acts as an atmospheric and moody preface for the album.
2. Dstryr / Dstryr
Now things really get going as the scattergun riffs and gang vocals join the fore. Sounding not a million miles from Christmas chart heroes Rage Against The Machine (specificallly 'Killing In The Name'), this is classic Lostprophets in the vein of 'Burn Burn' and 'Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja'. Typical of many Lostprophets songs this has a triumphant underdog feel to it with Watkins chanting “Every time you think you've stopped us, we rise up stronger from the dust” amidst a blitz of noise and fuzz.
3. It's Not The End Of The World But I Can See It From Here
The first single from the album. An obvious single choice because of its monster chorus, it's still one of the weaker tracks on the album and despite two guitarists duelling each other admirably never truly feels as big as it should be.
4. Where We Belong
Despite the fact Lostprophets have always had big hooks and sing along choruses, 'Where We Belong' must be the most pop orientated song they have ever recorded. That's no bad thing however as this uplifting song goes to show. Tackling religion for the first time there are lines such as, “The Lord won't answer me and I won't let it bring me down” and the whole song has the feel of a communion for the dispirited and disillusioned. Could well be a massive hit for the band.
5. Next Stop Atro City
Always one for a good pun, Lostprophets put the Refused influence they so clearly channelled on 'Liberation Transmission' to good use again with this barbed thrash acting as a complete antithesis to the previous tracks glossy pop leanings.
6. For He's A Jolly Good Felon
Another song for the summer months ahead, '... Jolly Good Felon' kicks off with a razor sharp riff strangely reminiscent of indie also rans The Rakes' 'Violent'. From there on in it's a glorious barrage of hooks and riffs. Perhaps the least stereotypical track on the album, this song seems like the natural follow on from 'A Town Called Hypocrisy'.
7. A Better Nothing
This track acts almost an amalgamation of all Lostprophets differing styles. Starting off slow it broods amidst a haze of feedback and electronics before launching into another big chorus (pop stars could do a lot worse than getting this band to write them some songs) then on to another onslaught of twiddling guitars worthy of your biggest hair metal bands. It lacks focus, but 'A Better Nothing' is Lostprophets in a nutshell.
8. Streets Of Nowhere
It has to be said at this point that a lot of 'The Betrayed' sounds a lot like other things. No out and out plagiarism is going on but snippets of songs, guitar parts and vocal melodies spring up around every corner reminding you of songs from the past. 'Streets Of Nowhere' is no different giving a clear nod to The Jam's 'A Town Called Malice'. We'd love to spy on Paul Weller listening to this.
9. Dirty Little Heart
So you're going to see Lostprophets live in concert. They come out, they play fast, the play hard. The crowd are hyped up, sweaty and in need of a break. Lostprophets crack out 'Dirty Little Heart', their new take on the power ballad. Guitars wail like a desolate lover in the rain, the choruses sound not a million miles from a mainstream pop song. It's big, it's bold and destined to become a fan favourite.
10. Darkest Blue
A filler track. No different from 'A Better Nothing' or 'Where We Belong' but pads the album out towards its climax.
The Light That Burns Twice As Bright
'The Betrayed' comes to an end with another slow song, this one underpinned by experimental use of synths and vocal effects. A typically melodramatic affair it completely breaks down towards the end into a brittle and delicate whisper signalling the conclusion of the record.
'The Betrayed' is released on January 18