There aren't many people who don't know who Papa Roach are... Formed in 1993 the band had to wait 7 years until their breakout album Infest smashed fans in the face in the best way possible. That album is now triple-platinum... Enough said. Whether it is spiritual atmospheric styled album F.E.A.R, the old school and raw Infest or anything and everything in between there aren't many rock fans who don't LOVE at least one song from Papa Roach. So where the hell does a band that are already widely diverse and incredibly talented go 24 years and 8 studio albums down the line? The answer Crooked Teeth.
The band stated that on this album they were going back to their roots and would utilise Jacoby Shaddix's rap skills. The result is a beautiful balance of the sound we have come to expect from Papa Roach from over the years and a fresh feel to the band too. Album opener 'Break The Fall' is a perfect blend of the staple "Papa Roach" sound yet effortlessly combines their classic raw rap verses with melodic singalong choruses. For those that haven't listened to any of the singles on Crooked Teeth they have been pretty varied. The title track provides a full frenzied attack on the ears as we enter riff city whilst "Help" provides an anthemic belter that will have fans old and new singing their lungs out. Check out both singles below!
The rest of the album provides a diverse array of solid tracks with some experimentation thrown in too. 'My Medication' moves between straight up rock anthem and rap laden verses whilst 'Born For Greatness' sees a pop/dub influence drive the song. 'American Dream' is a little more bouncy taking a right hook at the so called "American dream" and what the concept really does to people. 'Periscope' comfortably drops the distortion and brings in the amazingly talented Skylar Grey to assist vocally. The song is an interesting and uplifting listen that barely breaks a sweat in terms of velocity though manages to provide a positive and diverse change to the album as a whole.
'Sunrise Trailer Park' had this writer instantly skeptical and prepared for some kind of cheesy skate punk attempt that flopped and was completely out of place... Relief quickly arrived when Shaddix started rapping about crime, being young and general cool rap things that weren't so cool in hindsight yet were the best years of his life. Further relief and instant appeal kicks in as soon as Machine Gun Kelly makes himself known. This is lyrically amazing from MGK and it doesn't feel like a wasted feature just to add the name in. If that isn't enough, the chorus is emotional and passionate, big highlight on the album right there!
"Traumatic" feels like it has been re-vamped from an Infest-era demo. That angst that Papa Roach grabbed at all those years ago with classic 'Last Resort' is somewhat detectable in parts of this track. The chorus is riffy as f*&k too! Finally 'None Of The Above' rounds off the album in a perfectly preachy way with a chorus that feels it should be yelled out at a riot from a speakerphone.
Crooked Teeth is a cleverly crafted combination with all of the aspects to Papa Roach that have made us love them throughout the years. This album doesn't feel gimmicky or glued to a particular genre. Papa Roach have set out to make an album that is raw yet fresh and feels like the perfect culmination of their music to date. It is daring and bold and doesn't show the "comfort" you may expect from a band at this point in their career. With belters and bangers aplenty this is a huge achievement for Papa Roach.