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Lostprophets - 'For He's A Jolly Good Felon'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:10 UK time, Saturday, 10 April 2010


I love it when serious rock-type bands start to get a bit silly. It shows massive confidence on their part, and an understanding that the work they are engaged in, while terribly important to everyone involved, is also collossally daft. If you can maintain the feeling of importance, while tipping the wink that it's all a bit of a lark, you're on to something pretty special.

It's partly why people fell so hard for the Arctic Monkeys in the first place, for all that they were steel-eyed observers of gritty northern reality, they threw in a few gags here and there, and even wrote a funny song about rubbish bands thinking they're all that.

The Prophs, with their comedy song titles and superintense choruses, have hit that silly patch beautifully. They are now fully-fledged pun rockers.

(Here's the video. It's got tasty geezers in it.)

And as I say, they've remembered the massive anthemic chorus, which is what the bulk of their fans are after. It's a doozy too. Ripped to the gills with 'it's us against the world' paranoia-defiance and gang solidarity.

And for a song which could easily rip off the dialogue from a bunch of Guy Ritchie films and whack in a 'crime doesn't pay' fadeout to make the same point, the verses aren't exactly a Crimewatch re-enaction of 'Parklife'. There's real pain in here, it's just tempered with a smidge of humour.

For example, "Mikey, oh where'd you get the Nikes" is all sorts of brilliant. It's got the weight and rhythm of proper poetry and, it's funny. Which is what you need if you're going to do a song about the risky, seedy side of a life in petty crime. Too serious, and you lose everyone who ever pinched a pencil from a corner shop*, too silly, or worse, too pleased with itself and the song starts to lose its moral base.

I know! I actually used the words 'moral' and 'base' in the context of a song by Lostprophets. That's how good this is!

Four starsDownload: April 11th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

*The BBC would like me to point out that pinching pencils from corner shops is not a nice thing to do. Not even fictitiously, in blog form.



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