Borrowing their name from a bootleg Duran Duran CD, Welsh punk
rock group Lostprophets recently released their second full album,
Start Something. What exactly they are trying to start
isn’t very clear, but they sure seem to be doing everything
they can to inhale the dying breath of the American nu-metal
wave.

Mira Levitan
Mira Levitan
Punch this picture. (Courtesy of Columbia)

Developing their lackluster sound in the British underground
rock scene, Lostprophets seem to have all-too-quickly turned their
backs on their old fan base with their latest release, a
commercialized leap from their first album, The Fake Sound of
Progress
. The opening track, “We Still Know the Old
Way,” promises their followers that even though the band has
a mainstream release, it hasn’t forgotten their roots.
It’s believable until the first chorus hits you in the face
like a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills with its vocal
harmonies and crystal-clear delayed chords.

It is apparent throughout the album that Lostprophets try their
best to leave traces of their old sound, sometimes forcing it
unnecessarily into some halfway decent tracks. Unfortunately, the
old sound includes unmelodic, over-rhythmic guitar pieces,
predictable drum banging, and whiny, weak vocals. The track
“To Hell We Ride” is about as accurate of an
advertisement to the listener as it gets.

In this nu-metal mutation of guitar and digital effects, there
are a few standout tracks. “Burn Burn” features a
classic distorted rock sound and a catchy lead guitar line
reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World. The second verse in this song even
uses the bass to carry the melody and acts as a much-needed break
from the cluttered quasi-electro mush. The clean guitar in
“Goodbye Tonight” might be as close as Lostprophets get
to a rock ballad, and the song is not totally horrific. The chorus
has that same pop appeal but rocks enough to keep the focus far
enough away from the vocals, which are undoubtedly the weakest
attribute of the album. The crown jewel is the recently released
single “Last Train Home,” which is just unique enough
to pique interest and sell a few CDs.

Start Something is a mediocre album at best. Fans of
Hoobastank or Linkin Park will probably enjoy a few songs, but it
is clearly nothing new or impressive. To make the best of this CD,
avoid paying attention to the vocals. They might be cause enough to
print a picture of the singer just so you can punch him in the
face.

Rating: 2 out of 3 stars.

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