Liberation Transmission is the third effort from Lostprophets, though it's debatable whether many (at least stateside) remember much of the Wales post-grunge troupe outside of the massive success of their 2004 single "Last Train Home." The band is down to five players this time around, following the 2005 departure of drummer Mike Chiplin, but with the enrollment of Josh Freese (the Vandals, A Perfect Circle, etc. etc) behind the drum kit, you can be assured the rhythm section's backbone is adequately covered. For much of the album -- from its red/black/white color scheme and extended song titles to the band's newly austere yet fashionable images -- Lostprophets seem to be musically capitalizing on the sonic guitar-driven splendor that initially thrust them into the public's eye, while visually appealing more to fans beyond the confines of the Hoobastank/ Linkin Park crowd. In conjunction with the aforementioned color palate, there's an underlying war-torn theme of bleak, frustrated, and fed up sentiments propelling the vaguely anti-militaristic feeling of early songs. And even if the band's motivations don't appear to be politically driven all the way through, they still seem to be relying on a general life disillusionment to rally behind with a resounding cry. Tracks like the urgent fury of "Everyday Combat" and the impassioned "For All These Times Son, For All These Times" are guitar-crashing, keyboard-laced explosions of sound amid a steady backdrop of emphatic background vocals. But then they throw in numbers like the playful bounce of "Can't Catch Tomorrow (Good Shoes Won't Save You This Time)" and the slight funk-groove of "A Town Called Hypocrisy" to show a bit more welcomed flexibility than just brash, bottled aggression. Empowered lead single "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)" is definitely trying to re-create the magic of "Last Train Home"; while it comes close in its opening reliance on the more fragile edge of Ian Watkins' voice, the eventual buildup into surging chorus never quite reaches that lofty level of cathartic explosion, even in its proclamations of "Standing on the rooftops/Everybody scream your heart out/This is all we got." Though really, that song speaks for the rest of the album. Even with its stirring moments -- compared to their contemporaries there is much variety here to enjoy -- Liberation Transmission seems to find Lostprophets trying harder to re-create their sound instead of pushing it forward.
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AllMusic Review by Corey Apar