Sound — 8
Lostprophets, and in particular this album, are always hard to categorise. When this album first came out, many people hastily gave it the nu-metal tag. However, I disagree. Admittedly, songs like "Shinobi .vs. Dragon Ninja" may have really powerful riffs, but nu-metal would be the wrong description. I read an interview with Ian Watkins, who said this album doesn't represent their true style, and wasn't originally intended for commercial release. Despite this, the album manages to deliver. Hard rock riffs with a pinch of melody are the order of the day here, and the vocals shift effortlessly between singing and screaming over the top. It's not heavy as such, it's just pretty dark.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics are pretty good, with some especially good moments, such as "My smile only shows one side of me" on "For Sure", but also some bad ones "Are you that clever that you could smile forever?", from "Shinobi .vs. Dragon Ninja". The lyrics are based largely around, well, the fake sound of progress actually. Generally pessimistic opinions are presented and most of it is pretty good. There's the occasional moment when they don't make sense, but for the most part it's all gravy. Ian's vocals change between screaming and straight singing, and are, again, very good. The sound and lyrics have matured for the second album, what you hear on this recording is the development stage.
Overall Impression — 8
Not as good as the new album, but still an essential purchase. I'm sure it's sales will go up after the release of "Start Something", but deservedly so. The highlights for me are "For Sure", "The Fake Sound of Progress", "Shinobi .vs. Dragon Ninja" and "Ode to Summer". It definitely beats any nu-metal, and strays occasionally into hardcore/post-hardcore territory, with hints of emo. I'd definitely buy it again, and recommend it to anyone thinking of buying it. I have pre-ordered the new album, and eagerly await it's arrival.