PAPA ROACH – Crooked Teeth
Released: 19th May, 2017
PAPA ROACH Line up:
Jacoby Shaddix – vocals
Jeremy Horton – lead guitar
Tobin Esperance – bass
Tony Palermo – drums
PAPA ROACH online:
You say “Papa Roach” to someone and immediately people will shoot back, “Cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort”, the lyrics from ‘Last Resort’ off of the band’s 2000 album Infest. Sometimes maligned by the metal community for often pushing the boundaries of that genre once they were lumped into the nu-metal mish mash of the early noughties, Papa Roach are a band that were never afraid to push the envelope with their sound.
Enter 9th album, Crooked Teeth. To be honest when I read interviews from front man Jacoby Shaddix where he was quoted as saying the band wanted to be “weird” on this album, I was afraid, very afraid and so when asked to review this album I was kind of hoping they would epically fail and I could write some diatribe against them just to appease my inner sarcastic self. I really am a prick sometimes. However, Crooked Teeth is kinda cool. In fact, it’s a whole lot of fun!
Whereas Linkin Park wanted to push the boundaries of their sound into Bieber Top 40 utter garbage territory, Papa Roach has blended what they determined to be weird into something that actually works. For instance, they collaborate with Skylar Grey on one track, whose epic song writing ability and vocals really shine with Shaddix on ‘Periscope’. It’s a pop ballad and not really something I would have thought I’d enjoy, but there it is. Another collab, features Ohio rapper, Machine Gun Kelly on, ‘Sunrise Trailer Park’, with MGK dropping some dope lines before Shaddix enters the fray blending a slight rock beat and melody with his vocals blending in seamlessly. It’s definitely not what you would place in the rock or metal category but much to my confused mind by now, I’m bobbing my head by the end of it.
Don’t be deterred though by the weirdness or difference from those tracks, more Papa Roach ‘regular’ tracks make up the majority of Crooked Teeth. ‘Break the Toll’ kicks off the album, a track that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a Linkin Park album…. when Linkin Park were actually half decent that is. The rap of Shaddix is much to my chagrin not cringeworthy at all and when that heavier punch comes down, it’s killer. The self-titled track is a straight-out rocker and towards the back of the album, ‘Traumatic’ delivers the heaviest track on the album, at least in the chorus anyway.
Strangely, the highlight of the album is ‘Born for Greatness’ a synthesised nu-metal bouncing beat with Shaddix spitting venomous rap vocals. Why am I liking this?
Papa Roach fans of the last 20 or so years will enjoy Crooked Teeth but for anyone with a soft spot for some old-school nu-metal beats there is enough to like here to get you hooked onto this record. When the band stretch their boundaries as they have with some of these tracks, dipping their toes into more commercial radio friendly tracks, there maybe enough appeal for even some Papa Roach newbies.
Maybe there is a place for 40+ year olds attempting some Top 40 pop/rock blends afterall (*).
* Linkin Park need not apply
Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth Tracklisting;
1. “Break the Fall” 3:10
2. “Crooked Teeth” 3:03
3. “My Medication” 3:15
4. “Born for Greatness” 3:47
5. “American Dreams” 3:23
6. “Periscope” (featuring Skylar Grey) 3:36
7. “Help” 3:34
8. “Sunrise Trailer Park” (featuring Machine Gun Kelly) 3:47
9. “Traumatic” 2:48
10. “None of the Above” 3:30