Papa Roach

Time For Annihilation

Written by: PP on 30/09/2010 02:23:21

I've grown to have enormous respect for Papa Roach over the years for detracting their critics and continuing to write exactly the sort of music they are into. That they are excellent in their brand of alternative rock - or should I call it post-nu-metal? - is a huge bonus. They've never been after your cash; a grand total of zero live albums and zero compilation albums is a reality even after six albums and seventeen years of being a band. In fact, when Geffen Records decided it was time to release a best of album a few months ago, the band were fiercely opposed to it and asked their fans not to buy the record. So what to do if you want to behold your integrity but would also like to share a part of the Papa Roach live experience to folks who haven't been able to attend a show for one reason or another? You write an EP's worth of brand new songs, and you stuff nine fantastic quality live tracks to the end of that EP, effectively making it a full album. Bear in mind though, it's neither a live album nor a studio album; it's both. It's simultaneously an EP and a full length. Pretty cool, huh?

The title of the record is "Time For Annihilation", and it features five brand new tracks of varying quality. "Burn", the lead single of the record, is Papa Roach at their very best: catchy, anthemic alternative rock with solid verses and a huge chorus that's sure to transform any live show into a massive jumping exercise. "One Track Mind" is also a very good signature track that follows suit on any "Metamorphosis" track from last year. Both are bound to stick to your mind after just one listen. "The Enemy" is somewhat more aggressive, opening with a killer opening riff and a thick bass-line, and later showing Shaddix taking advantage of his characteristic 50/50 scream/singing style.

The other two tracks, however, are where the EP part of the record stumble somewhat. "Kick In The Teeth" is a typical Papa Roach power ballad, the sort of which they have at least one of on every album. While it's not bad per se, I think we can all agree that Papa Roach are at their best when they play pounding alternative rock with explosive choruses. "No Matter What", however, should've been dropped completely. It's a semi-acoustic pop ballad that just isn't very Papa Roach-like. The strengths of the band lie in infectious choruses contrasting semi-aggressive, unpredictable screams and shouts, not in stuff like this. While they're undoubtedly not the most challenging band out there, this song is way too straight forward and predictable even for these guys. It's what you'd expect a pop band to put out. Lets all be honest here and agree that although Papa Roach are hugely successful in the mainstream, they're still very much a rock band at heart.

Anyway, even if all of the new tracks were bad, the live part of the record would make it worth purchasing. These nine tracks underline what I've known for long, that Papa Roach are a very, very good live band. They are full of energy and at their very best in front of massive, screaming audiences, where Jacoby is able to interact with the crowd before, in-between, and during the songs. He's truly an exemplary frontman, adding in crowd-control techniques seamlessly mid song, shouting things like "EVERYBODY JUMP!! JUMP!! JUMP!!" in between his lyrics, or encouraging the crowd to "NOW, SCREAM!!!" after a big chorus sing along, etc etc. He's a big time show man, he knows exactly how to entertain a large crowd. This quality makes them one of the best arena live bands out there, even if he sometimes breaks the barrier to ultra-cheesy. But hey, when you have thousands of people singing along to every lyric you're singing - wonderfully recorded into the mix, by the way - can you blame him? Even when he says things like "So ya'll know that everything we do comes from the fucking heart, you know what I'm saying, this music, every beat, every riff, comes from this motherfucking heart. These three hearts.", you can tell from the tone of his voice that he really means it. With a hit-parade starting from "Getting Away From Murder" and "Lifeline" and ending in "Last Resort" and "Hollywood Whore", you're guaranteed to get a kick out of singing along, and imagining yourself present at one of their shows. They just sound that good live, even if artistic ambition isn't necessarily at an acceptable level. But to hell with that, see you at Taste Of Chaos this year.


Download: Burn, The Enemy
For the fans of: The Used, Three Days Grace, Seether
Listen: Myspace

Release date 31.08.2010
Eleven Seven Music

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