Papa Roach – F.E.A.R. (Review)
By: MelodicEnmity (Andrew Wayne)
Over the years, Papa Roach has taken an eclectic journey by creating many different styles and genres of music for each and every new record. ‘Old-school’ fans will always remember the in your face, nu-metal approach of then, Coby Dick (Jacoby Shaddix’s), mixture of rap and heartfelt soaring vocals over guitarist, Jerry Horton’s signature driving guitar riffs and heavy rhythm section that was featured on their 1999 label debut, “Infest.” On the flip-side, many followers will recognize Papa Roach for venturing into the alternative hard rock world for their follow-up record, “LoveHateTragedy.” Finally, the majority of people may recall Papa Roach as becoming a more popular influenced rock band with songs such as “Scars” that were constantly spun on every single pop station, rock station, and music video television channel alike.
Their new effort, “F.E.A.R.” (Face Everything And Rise), is a definite departure from anything they have ever done before. The album itself, in writing and production, is definitely aimed for the new modern sound of hard rock; walking along, but certainly not replicating the path that bands such as In This Moment, Nothing More, Starset, and more have taken. “F.E.A.R.” has all the tell-tale signs of the tight and clear digital production, but still mixed with a healthy dose of other natural elements. Add some of the heaviest Papa Roach guitar riffs and even some synth and dubstep arrangements, and you have got yourself “F.E.A.R.” The new record simply shows that Papa Roach is bringing something new to the table for their fans. I believe this album was the best move Papa Roach could have done as it will also secure their place on top in a sadly declining industry.
This brings me to the song “Gravity” featuring In This Moment’s Maria Brink, which is the definite stand-out track to me on “F.E.A.R.” I would not necessarily call it a ‘return to form’ for Papa Roach, but it is a great example of how a band can mix both their ‘old-school’ and ‘new-school’ techniques into one great piece of music. We also get to hear Jacoby rap again! This song in particular though was composed in such a way that everything seamlessly flows beautifully. The harmonies between Shaddix and Brink are surreal. This song right here shows a side of both Shaddix and Brink that fans of both bands have never really seen before. “Gravity” is a song that is truly unique which portrays the true versatility that Papa Roach is capable of.
While there are many amazing hard rock/alternative metal tracks that Papa Roach bring us with “Face Everything And Rise,” there is a downside as well. While this album packs some major surprises and great tunes, there are a few that I felt somewhat predictable. I mean that in the sense that in just a few of the tracks, I felt myself knowing how the chorus was going to build up, what the bridge would sound like, etc…But, this is Papa Roach’s first record that not only combines all styles of Papa Roach, past and current, they have still have created an album with mostly exceptional songs.
That being said, “F.E.A.R.” is not a bad or even mediocre album by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it is actually quite catchy, hook-driven, and filled with quite a few great surprises. The departure from their pop influenced rock days is also refreshing to hear. Many of the tracks I find myself listening to on repeat; just…some more than others. What “F.E.A.R.” does though is provide the listener with a new Papa Roach experience that is geared more towards all fans from 1993-1999 era to the present. That is quite a feat to conquer in and of itself. “F.E.A.R.” definitely pulls its own weight; showing their fans that Papa Roach are not a one-trick-pony, are ever evolving, and are most definitely, here to stay.