Friday, June 30, 2006

Lostprophets - Liberation Transmission (Visible Noise)

Streamers! Banners! A red carpet! Oh, and a big dash of cynicism. Lostprophets – one of the favouritest bands at Sloppy Dog HQ – are back, and we’re two parts crazily enthusiastic, one part anxious. Three albums in, one member down, and the omnipresent albatross label of being pretty boys, this is going to be a harsh assignment for the ‘Prophs.

A glance at the tracklist of Liberation Transmission doesn’t fill you with confidence – titles such as Can’t Catch Tomorrow (Good Shoes Won’t Save You This Time) and Broken Hearts, Torn Up Letters And The Story Of A Lonely Girl challenge Fiona Apple for ostentatious lunacy, and Meatloaf for sheer bloody duration.

Thankfully, the aural aspect is a far more appealing experience. While it’s a cleaner, more produced album than the previous two, the content and overall feel appears to a lot more natural. Fiona fucking Apple might say it was ‘organic’.

Bar lukewarm single Rooftops, we’re pampered with a selection of expertly crafted tracks, yet with that knee-jerk oomph left untreated. Perhaps slightly more grown-up, but that’s not necessarily going to be a damaging thing. Hell, it works.

As with everything Lostprophets have ever put their name to (or worn or eaten or sat on), Liberation Transmission is less Valleys and more Valley Girl. All traces of Wales are hidden beneath the Californian alt-rock licks and the sheer gloss of the package. But the gloss doesn’t obscure the talent. In fact, it almost commands further admiration of the musical aptitude that Lostprophets display, to the extent that it completely transcends the plucked-and-preened stigma.

In the tanned scheme of things, Liberation Transmission is testament to the fervour and inspiration displayed throughout the band’s career. And at this stage, it feels ripe, to the point that it could well be the Lostprophets’ best work yet. Hey, don’t hate ‘em cos they’re beautiful.

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