These days bands release a new album once every five years, if you’re lucky, with one, maybe two, ‘hits’ and lots of filler. Gone are the days when one album was released every year or two with classic tracks all the way through. That time has been lost in the haze of digital streaming, expendable consuming and attentions spans of a goldfish.
Now where was I? That’s right, Papa Roach’s new album Who Do You Trust? is their tenth in just nineteen years. Oh, they also have twice as many Spotify listeners each month than Stone Sour, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin. Proof that quality can still come around the block quite quickly, with hard work and commitment, no matter what the industry may tell you.
As for the album itself, well in typical Papa Roach quirkiness is starts with The Ending, a keyboard intro which reminds of an early 80’s horror movie, before an understated and eclectic band kicks in with a instantly catchy chorus.
The band – Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance and Tony Palermo – throughout try different styles, whether it’s the punk rock vocal attack of Renegade Music or the melodic radio friendly Feels Like Home. One common theme throughout is the visual stimulation. Every song you can see becoming a instant crowd favourite, some will be because of the fuel injected energy of the chorus, such as Not The Only One, others will be because of the tears in eyes beauty of Come Around.
The title track has an amazingly catchy riff all throughout the song. This will burrow deep into your conscious as you find yourself humming the tune days later while washing the dishes, putting out the laundry and driving to work on a hot and humid day.
This band are proving that hard work can smash down boundaries, when not playing, they are writing and recording. Proof of their evolution is the track Problems which is a chocolate coated cherry flavoured gem that shows how far they can push their style.
The other extreme is I Suffer Well, 70 seconds of brutal, energetic, old school hardcore punk, circle pits, mosh dancing crazed blur of chaos. It’s beautiful.
As the album draws to a close with Maniac, a melodic dream of a track that wouldn’t have been out of place on Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals album, has so much musical emotion it becomes clear this band is not stuck in its genesis of nu metal. They are punk, they are pop, they are metal.
The album perfectly captures that contrast, there is a little something for everyone and whole lot more for the committed Papa Roach fan. This is the sound of a modern rock band at the top of their game musical, lyrically and, even more so these days, digitally. This summer drive to work with the windows down, the stereo turned up and sing the the chorus from that insanely catchy track Who Do You Trust?
Album Review By Iain McCallum