The Molotov has dropped, but can we still trust Papa Roach or is this the start of the ending?
Love them or hate them Papa Roach have maintained a pretty consistent level of popularity over the last 20 years (jesus!), which may have something to do with their ability to evolve with every album yet still maintain that distinct identity of the Roach, which is after all, the new black.
Who Do You Trust? is the 10th studio album from the Californian nu-metal survivors and has a certain underlying maturity in it that one would expect from a band this far into its career. In terms of the overall sound and the current trend in alternative music I would say this is Roach’s most relevant record since Infest rode the wave of rapping and drop-d tuning at the turn of the millennium.
Making a break from their usual trend of launching straight out of the gate this album opens with more a laid back song The Ending, before delving into more familiar territory with Renegade Music and Not the Only One, which should sound huge live.
Interesting to note, despite Anthony Esperance joining the band for live duties on guitars, keys and percussion and having a writing credit on several of the songs on this album, he is not listed as being part of the band on the album sleeve. Whether his involvement is a short term thing that’s caused this isn’t clear, but given the stylings of the last 2 albums of material it would seem they would need him more and more…
Anyway, back to the album and the title track Who Do You Trust? may have surprised some people when it was first released last year, but it seems to come into its own as part of the wider art piece here and is definitely going to get movement from a crowd live.
This seems to be the turning point, however, as Elevate just sounds like a Papa Roach take on Imagine Dragons and Come Around doesn’t quite hit the mark.
It’s difficult for me to not just sing the praises of everything Jacoby Shaddix given the unconditional love and admiration I have for the man, but I’ve got to say this isn’t a career highlight for the band. Whilst I respect any band who doesn’t just rehash the same old sounds and formats with every album this was a little too much of a departure of why I love Papa Roach for me to really get on board. Even Problems just feels like a background song I’d probably skip and when they do decide to kick you in the nuts with the punk as fuck I Suffer Well, it’s just not a good enough song to really bang the steering wheel to.
Maybe live a lot of these songs will take on a whole new lease of life, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the UK tour in April to find out.
Who Do You Trust? is out now on Eleven Seven Music.