Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth (Eleven Seven Records)
Genre: Nu Metal
The challenge for a band like Papa Roach is one that many bands have faced over the years: how do you stay relevant when the genre that carried them to success has been left behind?
Some like Linkin Park choose to go down a different route entirely, others like Limp Bizkit decide their best days are behind them and cease to exist all together – while Papa Roach have continued to fly the flag of the early 2000s nu metal pioneers.
But that road is one that’s too potholed, too ill-repaired to lead anywhere good and Crooked Teeth recognises this. This album is a definitely a Papa Roach one, but it’s one that has let the times mould it to something a bit more updated.
Born For Greatness and American Dreams are key examples of this – the latter takes on the semi-ballad form that’s given so much success over the years and combines that with a rising, crescendo of a chorus that’s made for a starry eyed lived performance. On the other hand the former combines a swaggering rockin’ rap and semi-EDM breakdown that would put Kidd Rock dropping a couple of ecstasy pills at Creamfields to shame.
The middle chunk of Crooked Teeth takes the album in a totally different direction to the flawless trio of opening songs. Break The Fall, Crooked Teeth and My Medication are all hard-hitting metal song that long-time fans of the band deserve and crave and while that style certainly fades towards the back end of the record with the poignant, lighters-in-the-air Sunrise Trailer Park.
Traumatic shoves the LP off its melancholy path with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop before None Of The Above wraps it all up with an ebbing, flowing metal song that threatens to break the shackles.
The days of nu metal might be behind them but Papa Roach have proved that a band that made their name with the genre can still have relevance, but just like the last song on their album the shackles that encase the record need to be cast off to make a truly thundering body of work.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Make it louder!