Lostprophets – ‘The Betrayed’

Just when will bands learn; leaving a sizeable gap between albums almost always creates so much anticipation that whenever new material does surface, it cannot hope to match the built up expectations. It’s been nearly four years since Prophet’s last effort, 2006’s summer belter Liberation Transmission. Now in 2010, their highly anticipated follow up The Betrayed is finally here.

They’ve been promising this album for years: an album darker and more intense than previous efforts. And it’s not long before you start believing they might have only just gone and done it. Opener ‘If It Wasn’t For Hate We’d Be Dead By Now’, whilst by no means their best song to date, gets the adrenaline pumping from the go, swiftly followed by the superb ‘Dstryr Dstryr’; think ‘Burn Burn’ revamped and with hints of Rage Against The Machine’s classic ‘Sleep Now In The Fire’.

Unfortunately lead single ‘It’s Not The End Of The World’ – which the band have been touring since mid 2008 hasn’t got any better; still on the wrong side of cheesy and formulaic. Thankfully momentum soon picks up with early single of 2010 contender ‘Where We Belong’; arguably the band’s best since the still spine-tingling ‘Last Summer’. Followed by ‘Next Stop Atro City’; a supercharged three minute blast of riffs, breakdowns and chants, its so far so good.

Sadly from then on it’s all a bit of a mixed bag. ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Felon’ is pleasant enough, but missing that killer hook; it’s certainly not the awful line of “Mikey, where’d you get the Nikeys?, where as ‘Streets Of Nowhere’ and ‘Dirty Little Heart’ both feel almost too poppy for this release, the former with an unexpected Mod / Jam feel, the latter too sickly sweet.

Despite initially wanting to slate this effort; partly due the ongoing delays concerning its release, partly due to the uncharacteristically average lead single, once again Lostprophets have delivered. Their heaviest since Start Something, with plenty of catchy hooks to make it the year’s first guilty pleasure. If only it had been a little more consistent in the second half it could have been a classic. Nethertheless an album to crank up and blast out of the stereo. Business as usual then.

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