Papa Roach are such a hugely successful band with millions of records sold worldwide, monster rock karaoke singles and a live career spanning two decades fronted by the iconic Jacoby Shaddix, that they should be a much bigger deal when it comes to festival and venue bookings instead of watching their peers from the early noughties taking the spotlight ahead of them.
Arguably, the Californian band may have been too present with non-stop touring or a decline in album quality, but ‘F.E.A.R.’ is a true return to form cliché as Papa Roach get back to writing bangers like they used to.
‘F.E.A.R.’ is a clever/forced acronym for ‘Face Everything And Rise’, and opens the record with a punchy chorus lead anthem, with the pop-rock sound that the band have evolved into since the nu-metal days of ‘Infest’. The lead single opened the account for the album cycle back in October but still holds firm as the anchor for the release, and was a top choice to let fans know they were back with new material.
The best was yet to come though with ‘Falling Apart’, dropping just one week before the album and must display the best work done by Papa Roach in years. Shaddix sounds phenomenal, and almost unrecognisable from his vocal style ten years ago, but all for the better. The melodic hook is destined for arena success, with short and sweet verses to hurry us into the chorus as soon as possible every time to focus on how strong it is, before a slowed down bridge just emphasises the power it really has.
The best glimpse of the rap side of Papa Roach comes in part-spoken word ballad, ‘Gravity’, that hits heartstrings hard and even welcomes heavy metal queen Maria Brink (of In This Moment) to the mic to create a female harmonising voice.
The love-driven slower songs don’t stop the flow of the album in any way, with ‘Love Me Till It Hurts’ proving to be a real force on ‘F.E.A.R.’, but ultimately it’s the action packed tracks that kick the band into gear, and ‘Warriors’ is the best example you’ll find. Full of electronics enough to sound like Crossfaith in parts, the song closes the album on a definite high and sums the band’s existence up fittingly.
Papa Roach have battled through the music industry to become what they are today by finding their own trademark sound and style and pushing it as far as they possibly can. Album number eight can see the band rise back up after a couple of filler years, as ‘F.E.A.R.’ is going to start impressing as a solid alternative rock album.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)