Crooked Teeth - Papa Roach
Review by Nicole Roberts
Papa Roach have been around for quite a while - over twenty years in fact. During that time, they've released some of the highlights of my angsty teenage years, like 'Last Resort', 'Blood Brothers', and 'Scars'. Like any smart band, they've made sure to mature their sound over time, instead of staying stagnant. From their classic emo vibes on Getting Away With Murder, to their hard rock take on The Connection all the way to their hard rock/rap rock blend on F.E.A.R., they've constantly adapted their sound, and kudos to them. Crooked Teeth is definitely more in the same vein as F.E.A.R., with rap interspersed throughout the album and a bit more of a modern rock vibe.
Kicking off the album is 'Break The Fall'. It's got everything - strings, rap, group vocals, and it does it seamlessly. Most would expect that it would sound too crowded with so many elements, but they definitely know how to take a lot of ingredients and make a coherent thought, which is definitely a common theme throughout the album. The guitars are another consistent thread throughout the entirety of the release. They're strong, they're catchy, and where the songs can come a little bit undone or be a little bit predictable, they really carry the music with some brilliantly catchy hooks and riffs. 'Break The Fall' is such a good start to the album and easily one of my favourites from the entire release.
'Crooked Teeth' is a bit heavier, musically. Each section of the song is different, keeping you interested. It's definitely a foot tapper, and musically the entire band works well - the driving drums and bass, the catchy guitars and the strong vocals, it's all very tight. 'Born For Greatness' is a bit of a different one. It's got certain elements you'd expect to hear in the EDM-influenced Top 40, and an almost industrial vibe. Not my favourite, but it is an interesting song none-the-less.
'Persicope' takes the energy back down, adding in Skylar Grey's brilliant vocals. I genuinely enjoyed this song. The bass and guitar combination definitely reminded me of Tool in the first verse of this song, although I can't put my finger on why. It's a solid song though, and a nice break from the in-your-face attitude of the rest of the album. 'Help' is a good one as well, purely because it's so annoyingly catchy. It's nothing particularly unique or different to what we've heard in the past from Papa Roach, but it has a chorus that just gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave.
The remainder of the album is decent, but a bit of the same. It's all solid, musically it's good, but it does lose momentum a little bit given all of the especially strong songs are at the beginning of the album for me. There's no super strong closer, which is a bit of a letdown, but given the fact that the album is consistently strong, perhaps it didn't need a show stopper as the finale.
All in all, it's a good release from the band. While a lot of people may not find that it's for them, it's definitely worth a listen, if just to see how different Papa Roach have become over the last 20 years since we were all singing along to 'Last Resort' (don't pretend you didn't love the song back in the day). The band have definitely matured, musically as a band as well as in their songwriting, and the wisdom and experience definitely shows in this album.
6.5 out of 10.
Crooked Teeth is out now here.
Check out the video for 'Help' below