Papa Roach are a band that fall into an almost unique category. The Californian legends have built up a massive and devoted fanbase over their nearly thirty years of existence, and continue to put out new material almost like clockwork.
Their second greatest hits compilation, ‘The Better Noise Years’, sets out to prove that the four-piece have more going for them than just ‘Last Resort’, chronicling their releases from 2012’s ‘The Connection’ to 2019’s ‘Who Do You Trust?’ with a few live acoustic tracks and remixes thrown in.
The album cycles through the electronic rock sounds of songs like ‘Born For Greatness’ and ‘Face Everything And Rise’, the rap-metal vibe of ‘Gravity’, alternative metal anthems ‘American Dreams’ and ‘Swill Swingin’, and even the more metalcore-esque ‘Broken As Me’.
The remixes of ‘Help’, ‘Elevate’, and ‘Top Of The World’ by Aelonia all recapture the songs in a completely new light, and in a completely new style that still fits the original songs. The live acoustic versions of ‘Face Everything And Rise’ add a new level of emotional complexity that can only be achieved by stripping the songs back and showing only the basic elements.
The only track missing from this album would be a studio version of their amazing cover of ‘Firestarter’ by The Prodigy, which they played on the tour for ‘Who Do You Trust?’ as a tribute to their late frontman, Keith Flint.
At 21 tracks and a runtime of almost and hour and a quarter, this album is definitely a lot to take in. For Papa Roach fans, this is a worthwhile treasure trove of the last decade of their career, and for newcomers or those only familiar with their nu-metal beginnings, it’s all the evidence you need of not only their flexibility of sounds and styles, but also that they couldn’t be further than a one-hit wonder.
20/All things Scottish Rock/Emo/Metal