Lostprophets - Start Something (Cover Artwork)


Start Something (2004)


Lostprophets' debut album The Fake Sound of Progress was a huge seller in the UK and did pretty well for itself abroad too. Pretty impressive for what was little more than a glorified demo which the band insist was only put out so they had something to sell when they played shows. This, their sophomore release (as the Americans would say) is the 'real' Lostprophets debut. In interviews prior to the album being released various band members had been quoted as saying how no-one else would be able to touch this album for the rest of the year. The 'Prophets weren't quietly confident – they were telling anyone who would listen just how fucking good their album was. Is it as good as they say? Hmmmm….

We open with 'We still kill the old way' which has a pretty killer riff that segues into something from a spaghetti western if it were shot by John Woo. This song contains the line "Even through your doubts we will still be here" which appears to be aimed at the band's detractors who label them as pretty boy posers. Incidentally, the Lostprophets have since got into a war of words with British boy band Busted (for those of you unaware of this particular phenomenon Busted are three teens dressed like Blink 182 who sing songs they didn't write about shagging their teacher while holding guitars they don't actually play…and they are fucking HUGE in the UK.) Anyways, the song is a good opener but seems to lose it's way at the chorus, with the band opting for a softer, anthemic chorus rather than the screamy shouty one it deserves. It does pick up at the end though. A good song, but not a brilliant one.

Perhaps they would have been better served by the fifth track on the album, which was it's lead single – Burn Burn. With an absolutely killer riff and an awesome chorus this would have been the perfect mission statement for the CD. OK, so a teeny bit of the song rips off Adamski's 'Killer' but that part isn't the main hook and the rest of the song doesn't resemble that track at all. The other single, which was a huge hit in the UK, 'Last Train Home' is one of the best tracks the 'Prophets have ever recorded and it gets better with every listen. There are so many little hooks in the song that once it creeps into your head it just won't let go. So, lyrically it might not be a work of genius – but, really, who gives a toss? The 'Prophets are hear to move you with the might of the tunes, not the clever nuances of their lyrics.

Tracks like 'I don't know' 'Hello again' and 'last summer' are all good with catchy choruses, screaming interludes and all kinds of hooks. On first listen they don't seem to stand out from the pack, but that's because some of the other tracks are so jaw droppingly good that you skip past these ones and that really does them a disservice. I've had the album for a couple of months now and I'm only just getting into these tracks.

Penultimate song 'We are Godzilla, you are Japan' unfortunately lives up to it's awesome title – but only just. It's another riff based track that many bands would kill for but in such lofty company (like the title track, which is ass-kickingly heavy) it does not stick in the brain as it should. For me the best track on the album is 'Goodbye tonight' which contains some awesome harmonies between singer Ian and DJ/ Keyboard player/ Screamer Jamie (it should be said that the turntable stuff does not feature much on the CD, except during the segues between songs with some breakbeats thrown in too). The song really highlights the overall 'theme' of the album – that of trying harder to make life better. The title of the record 'Start Something' wants people to go out and make a difference, to live their dreams – which is what every song on the album is about. In a way, this is almost a concept album…but don't let that put you off. Closer 'Sway' is the one thing that stops this album from achieving true greatness, as it is a nice slow song, but doesn't go anywhere interesting, which is a real shame.

So, is it worth the hype? Yes, definitely. For those of you who aren't afraid of admitting they like music with a tune you can sing along to this is a godsend. Lostprophets are a hardcore band in the way the Movielife were are a hardcore band – they came from that scene but ultimately knew that screaming and shouting your point was all well and good, but it's kinda nice if people want to actually listen to your music rather than just batter the hell out of someone standing next to them in a pit. Oh, and after reading the review for the new Modest Mouse record I have to say that this album is absolutely genius in a car. The front cover depicts an open highway and this seems to be the best place to listen to it. Incidentally, the guy on the front cover is, according to legend, Justin Timberlake whose 'Cry me a River' Lostprophets cover (rather fantastically I feel) on the b-side of 'Last train Home.' Anyway, this album really is worth buying. It won't change your life by any means but goddamn it might make it a wee bit more fun.