With so many bands celebrating milestones this year, it has been very easy to forget that it has been twenty years since Papa Roach first released their debut album. Well, instead of following the trend of re-realising that album the Californians have just hit us with a new album, titled Crooked Teeth, an album so fresh that it once again reminds that there is certainly still room for the Nu-metal/rap-metal sound in today’s musical landscape.
The freshness of Crooked Teeth hits you straight away – it is like the band went into the studio with the mantra to make every track sound significantly different to the previous track. To their credit, it works and has you feeling like there is a surprise around every corner as a new track starts. There was certainly no chance of the band dying wondering with this album because it seems like they were more than willing to give everything at least one shot in the studio.
While there are your typical smooth hard rock tracks that you have come to know and love from Papa Roach over the years, tracks like Nothing and Bleeding Through, there are also the tracks where the band get very inventive as well. The percussion led opening of Born For Greatness gives way to an almost Twenty-One Pilots sound as some severe strains of electronica introduce themselves. That electronic sound is also present on My Medication and None Of The Above. The latter also consists of a brutal chorus while the former joins tracks like Crooked Teeth and Ricochet that are so catchy that you just want to hear them live as soon as possible.
With this album, Papa Roach also feels like a band that have something very important to say – Break The Fall and American Dream both deliver powerful political messages about what it is like to live in the land of the free at the moment. Then there are the more heartfelt tracks like Sunrise Trailer Park which sees Machine Gun Kelly step up to the mic – the lyrics here could only be written from the heart. Periscope, which features some vocals from Skylar Grey, is also touching and shows that the band can deliver a fairly decent ballad without becoming laughable as well.
Crooked Teeth is a strong album that will not only be loved by Papa Roach fans but also by the new generation who is discovering their music for the first time. It’s rare that a band these days delivers an album where every track is so good that it could be used as a single but Papa Roach has certainly done that here.