imageIt should go without saying that since the Visibile Noise release of ‘thefakesoundofprogress’ LOSTPROPHETS have become a household name. Three top 5 albums (including a number one) in the UK is nothing for a alternative rock band to turn their nose up at, and though their sound’s changed over the years, there’s no doubt that they’ve been a massive inspiration for an entire generation of British bands.

Many of the Punktastic staff over the years (myself included) grew up with the band, and despite the last two albums achieving Gold status in the UK, both divided heavily opinions. The band’s most recent effort, ‘The Betrayed’, didn’t officially make it across to many territories, but having recently signed to Epic in the US for album five, there’s clear indication that the band have a lot riding on this release.

Putting the album up against the band’s back catalogue, ‘Weapons’ mixes the more melodic moments of ‘Start Something’ with the mid-tempo pop-rock elements of ‘The Betrayed’, and reaching back a little has mediated the elements of the last album that were a little over the top. It results in a much smoother delivery, and the band sound much more settled with new drummer Luke Johnson.

Asides from the ill-advised but admittedly enjoyable guilty pleasure of Ian Watkins’ rapping in ‘Better Of Dead’, ‘Weapons’ arrives without much of the almost cartoon bravado of the last two efforts, and also sees the band take a much more measured approach to their songwriting – most notably present in the acoustic-led ‘Somedays’ towards the end of the album.

‘If You Bring A Gun, We’ll Bring An Arsenal’ harks back to ‘The Betrayed’ and ‘Liberation Transmission’ quite heavily and sticks out a little because of it, but the “Weyohh weyohh la la laa la la la la nlaa”s will make it a firm live favourite if the band choose to wheel it out on forthcoming tours, joining ‘Heart On Loan’ as the album tracks with the biggest choruses on display. Closer ‘Can’t Get Enough’ sounds a little like an updated ‘Start Something’ track, and it’s a great way to finish off what may be the most consistent album since then.

It’s perhaps a little strange that ‘Weapons’ sees LOSTPROPHETS drawing further on influences from bands that they themselves inspired over the last decade (not least from some of their Welsh contemporaries in THE BLACKOUT and KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES), but if taken for what it is (a pop rock record) it’s a great listen with a few non-fatal flaws. It’s not a record that’s going to change the world or rewrite the rule book, but it’s well worth a listen if you’re a fan of the band, and brings some moments that will sound massive live.

TOM AYLOTT