CD Review of Liberation Transmission by Lostprophets

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Liberation Transmission
starhalf starno starno starno star Label: Columbia
Released: 2006
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One would think that if you could catch lightning in a bottle – for power-rocking punks right now, that would mean something along the lines of the kinetic energy and tight harmonies of New Found Glory, the chunky power chords of Kiss, and the minimalist sound of Green Day – then you'd have one hell of an album. Unfortunately, the Welsh band hailing from Pontypridd – a former mining town – has no lightning. If they had half the charisma of Kiss, the earnest, convincing style of the New Founds, or a touch of Green Day insouciance, well, their major label debut would be all right. Especially knowing that they do not, at any point, add in cheap synthesizers to pad their sound.

Instead, there are a couple catchy tunes here, including "A Town Called Hypocrisy" and its chugging fast funk backbeat, and the track that immediately follows it, "The New Transmission," reminiscent of Green Day at its frenetic finest. But past that, the band mines rock veins that have nothing left to give, and whole sections later in the album sort of just run together, the next sounding like the last, medium-fast, pounding, polished track.

In fact, it seems as if the band senses this, trying to cover up the bland sameness by coming up with peculiarly long song titles, such as "Heaven for the Weather, Hell for the Company," "Broken Hearts, Torn Up Letters, and the Story of a Lonely Girl," and "Always and All Ways (Apologies, Glances and Messed-up Chances)." Actually, that last one, a little less fast ballad with a bit more sugary melody than the rest of the album's punky teen angst, could net the Lostprophets a radio hit. But for the most part, the Lostprophets are a lost cause.

~Mojo Flucke, PhD