Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth

I’m going to steer away from the social commentary on how much a CD costs for just 10 tracks these days. I’m not even going to mention in passing how out of those 10 tracks, the internet has already heard 5 songs from the band’s own web presence. What I would like to mention, however, is how much of a Papa Roach fan I have been since the first time I heard Last Resort, so it was with great excitement I let the sounds of their 9th studio full-length album Crooked Teeth enter my ears.

I don’t believe it’s a secret that the album’s production team of Nicholas Furlong and Colin Brittain, grew up with Infest and were looking to make a “classic” Papa Roach record. The title track certainly seemed to be pointing in that direction when it’s video hit the internet several months ago.But when listening to the full opus it really feels like this is the baby of bassist Tobin Esperance, all full of electronics and beats, particularly on songs like My Medication and Periscope.

Born for Greatness is an extreme example of this, probably in part due to being the only track on the album not produced by Furlong and Brittain. Instead knob twiddler Jason Evigan, who’s previous work includes Jason Derulo and Demi Lovato. This is not necessarily a bad thing as there is no denying “that beat is sick” as the kids would undoubtedly say.

Machine Gun Kelly is slowly becoming a household name in this country after being power bombed off the WWE stage by Kevin Owens, then recording with Little Mix, which obviously is the main reason he is on the 2017 line up for Download Festival. Now he has rounded out the first half of the year by recording some rhymes for the track Sunrise Trailer Park, which is probably the weakest track on the album but does lead me nicely into the performance of Jacoby Shaddix on the record. From Track 1 to Track 10 (at the time of writing my 13 track deluxe edition has not been delivered via Pledge Music #fanboy) Jacoby – AKA Coby Dick or Mr Dick if you’re nasty – is spitting out lyrics like Nu-Metal is a new thing…or should that be nu-thing? Regardless, he is rapping like a demon and it sounds good.

To be honest, for those not in the know about Tobin’s love of Electronica, this sounds like the logical 9th album from the band who exploded at the peak of the rap-rock movement 17 years ago and remain one of the few who are a) still together and b) still regularly play to decent audiences around the world, not to mention regularly churn out new music.

The musicians are on point, the songwriting is at the usual high standard – Help is the typical Shaddix self-deprecating lyric – and there is plenty on here for die hard Roach fans to love, however, despite bangers like the title track and American Dream, to attract people, I’m not sure Crooked Teeth as an album package will necessarily win the band new fans. That will be what the tour will do…

6.5/10

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