With their fourth studio album the boys from Pontypridd continue to move away from their post-hardcore roots and further into the realms of stadium bothering pop rock.
Throughout the 13 tracks the songwriting is solid if at times predictable, making for a collection of highly accessible and well rounded, sugar coated anthems ready for festival crowd sing-a-longs and mass radio play that the band are clearly aiming for.
Nothing here can be described as intentional filler material and every track, bar the last, is a potential single. Influences are wide ranging and at times surreal with a distinct 80’s vibe lingering in and out, piano parts Journey would be proud of, the guitar work of Rage Against The Machine‘s ‘Evil Empire’, Muse-esque alt rock, and the usual polished-into-pop post-hardcore that Lostprophets have built a career on.
With all that in mind, ‘The Betrayed’ unfortunately feels like one of those albums missing it’s own sense of identity. Listening through you’re often left trawling through your own mind for the name of the sound-a-likes that shadow each track from Billy Talent to The Temper Trap. Stand-out tracks include ‘Streets Of Nowhere’ with it’s ‘Town Called Malice’ meets ‘Town Called Hypocrisy’ swagger, the ‘Start Something’ flashback of ‘Sunshine’, the sprawling ‘A Better Nothing’ and the obvious lead single, ‘It’s Not The End Of The World But I Can See It From Here’ complete with infectious, pounding chorus and Matt Bellamy irking middle 8.
There is a sense that Lostprophets have done their homework on the competition and adjusted their approach accordingly. That’s not to say the album is bad or derivative because it’s not, it just doesn’t take many risks outside of adding more genres to the Lostprophets songwriting CV.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good album full of easy to like and very well written pop songs that will propel the band to new heights, and if you liked their last release, ‘Liberation Transmission’, then you’re in for a treat. However, if to you Lostprophets mean ‘Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja’ then this is probably not the album for you. It’s an unashamedly grand-scale pop rock shot at the big time.
To some, the title of that very first album couldn’t ring more true.
Written by Greg Johnson