|Lostprophets - 'The Betrayed' (Visible Noise/Sony Music)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Wednesday, 20 January 2010 14:54|
The first 'major' rock release album of 2010 and it just happens to fall to Lostprophets, a band who have moved mountains in their quest for success whilst still remaining largely the same gang of lads I remember collectively whetting their stone washed jeans at the prospect of going to see Tesla in Cardiff's St David's Hall way back when. Okay, so you're already noting that their fashion sense has curiously remained intact through the years, but then so has their enthusiasm for music and, when you are talking International Rock Stars (which the guys most certainly are these days), that's a sure fire compliment to the band's long-term integrity and the extremely humble nature in which the guys go about their business.
So with album number four fresh in the racks, Lostprophets have certainly taken their time to get this release just how they wanted it (the band having totally scrapped a previous version, with it being deemed 'too commercial'), 'The Betrayed' finally arriving some four years after their massively successful 'Liberation Transmission'.
Even after a couple of spins it's pretty obvious that 'The Betrayed' once again sees the continuation of the 'every song is a potential single' track list pattern that now seems common place with each Lostprophets release, which is also a measure of just how consistently good these guys are at writing catchy songs. This time around though the band's usual melting pot of influences are most certainly a lot darker, and where perhaps Seal or Duran Duran may have been given a quiet nod in the past, here we're upping the ante with glimpses of Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop and even Xmas number one stars Rage Against The Machine creeping into the mix just for the fun of it.
Immediate standout track for me is the recent live favourite 'Dstryr Dstryr' which, despite its text type title looking more like a Valleys town name, pays back the frustration, desolation and anger found in such places in spades. This furious raging call to action from Ian Watkins is most definitely white noise at its finest.
If its huge hits you want, then recent single 'It's Not The End Of The World, But I Can See It From Here' sets the controls to 'maximum stadium satisfaction', as does the jaunty pop romp 'Streets Of Nowhere' and the near perfect anthem for this time of year, 'Sunshine'.
Elsewhere 'Dirty Little Heart' and 'A Better Nothing' show a slightly more subdued side to the band, edging more into a strong Eighties pop flavour that had me rolling up my suit jacket sleeves and longing for the days when I could still use hairspray.
Produced by the band's bassist Stuart Richardson at various locations worldwide, 'The Betrayed' is a glowing testament to the hard work and sheer belief the band have in themselves, and in turn is quite possibly their most consistent set of songs thus far.
With all this glowing praise you'd actually be forgiven for thinking that I am a long time fan of Lostprophets' music, and you couldn't be further from the truth in reality. But any band that works as hard as these guys do and still remain true to their vision and goal in life deserves your respect and attention, and with the band's move from Columbia to Sony Music in the US here's hoping that's exactly what they get Stateside. One thing is for certain and that is if 'For He's A Jolly Good Felon' doesn't make you wanna get rocked then nothing will and you may as well go bury your head in the sand right now.
So get ready, as Lostprophets are about to send the world into musical hysteria with 'The Betrayed', I've got a feeling this one's going to be huge.