Last week it was confirmed that Papa Roach will play the o2 Academy on 17th March in support of their new album F.E.A.R. We thought that it would be a good idea to get a fan’s view of the new material ahead of this exciting gig. Gemma Bywater took up the challenge.
Listening to F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise), Papa Roach’s latest album, was like a blast from the past but with a twist; there was something new but subtle thrown in to change it up a bit.
So what is it that makes these songs different yet the same!? At first I struggled to put my finger on what it was, but after a couple of listens, I realised there is the use of synthesizers giving an electric sound to the base of a lot of the songs. Also, although front man Jacoby Shaddix still has his distinct, gritty, punk-style voice, there is something additionally raw about it, which emphasizes the emotions behind these songs that are clearly written based on personal struggles. This is rather evident in track six ‘Gravity’; it is a particularly emotional song and is quite clearly about the breakdown of a personal relationship.
The changes in the sound of this band are good, they work, but they are also cleverly so slight that they haven’t lost themselves at all; they are still very much Papa Roach. If there are ‘die hard’ fans out there that are struggling to enjoy the fact that the band are trying a new sound, albeit a minor one, there are a couple of songs on the album that sound like they could have come straight from the early 2000’s when Papa Roach were at the height of their popularity; in particular the last track on the album ‘Fear Hate Love’. The band have some interesting perspectives of their own on this track:
These songs are the nu-metal Papa Roach that over the years we have become accustomed to.
The fact that at the Papa Roach have stuck with their nu-metal roots as the foundation for their songs is not a bad thing. This is a sound that has been working for them for a good fifteen years and as people say “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. That said, it is nice to hear them trying something a little different that gives them a new edge, without them having to alter their sound completely.
F.E.A.R was released on January 27th 2015 on Eleven Seven Music
Review: Gemma Bywater