Papa Roach

Crooked Teeth

Written by: PP on 30/08/2017 21:26:00

Looks like Papa Roach has come full circle on their ninth studio album "Crooked Teeth". We all remember breakthrough album "Infest" from seventeen years ago and how it did its part to propel the nu-metal movement into mainstream together with Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" and others that effectively merged rap and metal together into one of the most hated music genres around. Whilst most bands died out as a result, Papa Roach reinvented themselves as a hard rock album, all but dropping the hip hop elements in favour of a more streamlined arena rock sound. It was a sublime pivot that produced their career highlight "Getting Away With Murder" and its follow-ups "The Paramour Sessions" and "Metamorphosis", both of them solid albums that cemented Papa Roach as a staple on the arena hard rock circuit.

But then it all went to scheit on "The Connection" and "F.E.A.R". These were uninspired, cliché albums that sounded like career extensions above anything else. As such, "Crooked Teeth" is most of all a return to form but also a breath of fresh air with Papa Roach once again attempting a pivot of sorts. It comes in essentially three styles: classic rap metal, arena-rock like their past five albums, and most surprisingly, in pop/electro hybrid that guarantees a Papa Roach sound, unlike nothing you've heard them put out before.

Let's start by circling back to their past. Opener "Break The Fall" kicks off with straight up hip-hop that sounds like the nu-metal scene of circa-2000 came back calling with a crunchy hard rock chorus to follow. The title track "Crooked Teeth" then follows by echoing "Lovehatetragedy" and "Infest"-era rap metal, albeit with nuances of punk through its high-octane pace, and spiced with a few aggressive screams for good measure.

A more familiar sound for later Papa Roach fans is found on songs like "Help" and "My Medication", both of which echo the hard rock ethos of "The Paramour Sessions" and thereafter with infectiously catchy choruses designed to create thunderous sing alongs in arena-sized venues. Elsewhere, these two styles are seamlessly tied together, such as on "Sunrise Trailer Park", which features Machine Gun Kelly on guest vocals delivering straight up rap during the verses, whereas the chorus melody of the song again takes us back to the modern Papa Roach time. A nice treat for fans of both eras.

But where the band truly surprise is on a song like "Born For Greatness". It's a huge arena rock song that's very pop-driven and radio-melody inspired. It's super mainstream despite a few hip hop sections, and even contains a ridiculous 'drop the bass' moment borrowed from dubstep complete with a wobwob melody. And what about "Periscope"? It's an unusually soft and electronically-infused track with huge ooh-ooh sections and faded back shouts that honestly sound like something Fall Out Boy could've written. Strange.

So what to make of it? The band comes full circle as mentioned earlier, but doesn't entirely abandon their newer material, and is keen on experimenting with elements that have never before set a foot on Papa Roach albums in the past. Songs like "Traumatic", "My Medication" and others are remarkably energetic and delivered with a passionate drive that decries the band's 25+ years together. Is it their best album? Not by a long shot, but it's a hell of an improvement over the past couple of efforts.


Download: Crooked Teeth, My Medication, Help, Sunrise Trailer Park, Traumatic
For the fans of: Hoobastank, P.O.D, Cage9,
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Release date 19.05.2017
Eleven Seven

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