The crappy door to my crappy Del Playa apartment kept creaking open and slamming shut as I tried to listen to Lostprophets’ The Fake Sounds of Progress. One by one a chorus of moans emanated from the doorway as all six roommates, staggering in from school, were forced to endure this CD.
“Jesus, this sucks,” one said.
Hailing from Wales, these six, adolescent-looking nu-metallers attempt to mix rock with piano sounds and turntable effects to produce what I imagine is supposed to be “new and innovative.” Instead, the listener is given a bland, mushy bootleg version of quality rockers, ranging from (hed)pe to At The Drive-In.
While many artists shun the precision-trained singing voice to bask in their own uniqueness, Lostprophets’ lead singer (ex-Public Disturbance drummer) Ian Watkins, fails to forge a niche. Watkins manages to tiptoe into my ears and pinch at the little folds in my brain with each painful monkey howl. A few times during the final track “Ode to Summer,” I almost turned off the music to check if one of my neighbors was crying out in agony. Perhaps he should stick to the drumsticks.
For all the group’s vocal inability, including unfathomable attempts at harmony, Lostprophets experiment with percussion, jazzy interludes and manage to effectively throw down some turntable action on “Kobrakai.”
In their CD booklet, the band gives typical thanks and love before mentioning, “Let us know how much we suck.” That acknowledgement allows me to feel a little less guilty for exposing them as too-rough, awkward-sounding hacks who have a long way to go before being welcome back in my living room.