Ego Trip – Papa Roach

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Overall Score: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Musicianship: 6/10
Lyrics: 6/10
Pros: The band have distanced themselves from nu-metal and still have the passion and fire to create new music after 2 decades
Cons: The samples and beats sometimes feels a little too much like trying to be relevant and it would be nice to have a whole album of positivity from Jacoby one day rather than just the odd track

After their last two albums, the new release from Papa Roach, is greeted with a certain amount of trepidation. So it’s a relief when Kill The Noise opens the album all swagger and rage, a theme that continues with Stand Up.

Papa Roach matured and grew their sound gradually since debuting with Infest (2000), which is how they’ve managed to achieve such longevity and Swerve seems to be a marriage of the good old days to modern day Roach. All beats and effects mixed in with some rapping like nu-metal was still a thing, not to mention the collaborations on the track from Fever333 and Sueco, but this and Bloodline don’t seem to really hit the mark. That said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bloodline made it into the live show and Liar seems to be written to be performed live, all pyro and bouncing, while Jacoby Shaddix spits rhymes.

By the time Ego Trip rolls around, the similarities between the sound of these songs and those on 2019’s Who Do You Trust become quite apparent, leading to the question of whether the band have really managed to lock a sound in or if some of these songs are actually all born from the same session. Luckily Dying to Believe is a little more of a straight rock track, if such a thing still exists.

Obligatory ballad Leave A Light On sounds like what the band wrote when they went camping in the wild west and Jerry Horton got his guitar out, although the production is great, subtle percussion over drums and a great string arrangement that’s just held back enough to not saturate the track.

No Apologies sounds like Papa Roach trying to write pop-punk, but again doesn’t quite land, while Cut The Line is also destined to be performed live and potentially one of the set highlights and album closer I Surrender is probably the heaviest riff on the album and sounds like a single.

Musically, it’s great that the band have managed to move on so much from that nu-metal sound that introduced them to the world, although it’s clearly not for everyone and lyrically you know what to expect from Shaddix by now – a lot of songs about self loathing and trying to improve oneself.

Whatever your thoughts on Papa Roach in 2022, Ego Trip is firmly in the “average album” camp of Papa Roach’s discography. It’s certainly not terrible, but it’s nowhere near as strong as 2012’s The Connection or 2017’s Crooked Teeth. That said, most fans of the band should find something on Ego Trip to get into.

Ego Trip is available now via New Noize Records.

For more information on Papa Roach, like their official page on Facebook.

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