Incubus really should copyright their sound. They sure would make a packet from these 13 tracks. Roughly translated, this means that there will be hordes of teenage rock girls who will love this album, while lads over 13 who think they like it should go and discover the likes of Machine Head instead.
Okay, with those obligatory biased and severely generalising insults out of the way, let’s move on. The majority of Start Something revolves around gentler, less metallic numbers than those on the lostprophets‘ debut, The Fake Sound Of Progress. This is not a good thing, in my humble opinion.
The lostprophets’ layered melodic whines worked well on the first album because they were laid over crunching guitar riffs. Apart from the vocals being mixed criminally high on all of Start Something, the guitars are over-compressed and the drums don’t even get a look in. There is a brief glimmer of hope as the searing solo at the end of I Don’t Know kicks in, but it disappears into oblivion as quickly as it appeared.
As if the band was writing this album with the intention of making music to forget five minutes later, the huge choruses and anthemic sing-alongs just fail to stick. Why they couldn’t they have written more tracks like We Are Godzilla – You Are Japan, with its riff-tastic intro and almost as much kick as a vodka/Red Bull?
Start Something is very, very, VERY Linkin Park at times, complete with strings, samples and lo-fi beats. Songs like Hello Again and Sway, on the other hand, have more of an electro ’80s influence, with DJ Whatever-His-Name-Is getting to play something audible for once. To be fair, Sway has a unique and damn good hidden track tagged on the end, but the likes of Last Summer and Goodbye Tonight are sheer tripe and definitely career low points.
Innovation is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the incorporation of new ideas or changes into an existing concept”. This is clearly not a word the lostprophets learned at band school, having dished up their sophomore effort in textbook fashion. However, as I’m sure you are aware, the arrival of the Dyson did little to dent the safety in numbers of the trusty old Hoover, so it seems the lostprophets may continue to prosper (and suck) for some time to come.