(9/10) “Crooked Teeth” is Papa Roach’s ninth full-length album in a 17 years history. The band, that got famous with “Last Resort”, became a spearhead of modern metal music also being a consistent player in this field of rock. As probably nobody else of the nu metal era bands, Papa Roach could constantly gain new fans. This has to do with the fact that the band didn’t use the cookie-cutter approach, doing the same thing only different. The quartet constantly evolved their music by adding some twists and tweaks to it without loosing the bigger picture out of their perspective. Papa Roach always stayed true to themselves and stayed with their sound and trademarks, but developed them further by trying out new things.
This vitality and dynamic can be also appreciated on their newest longplayer “Crooked Teeth”. Jacoby Shaddix and his gang created an album that belongs to the best ones this genre can offer. Actually the four-piece band from California went back in time a bit. There is a certain oldschool vibe embedded in the new songs. Weird thing since this would mean 'oldschool nu metal'.
Anyhow, before going too deep into this philosophical discussion (can nu metal be oldschool?) it’s better to focus on the ten new songs that made it on “Crooked Teeth”. Things start with “Break the Fall”, a powerful track that gets you right into what this album is about – aggressive songs that combine metal, alternative, rap … and pop. No worries while reading pop. Papa Roach is still playing heavy stuff throughout, but there are elements of popular music that spices things up. One song that comes with such an expression is “American Dreams”. It’s an easygoing alternative rock song that will for sure reach a wider audience.
Also the following “Periscope”, in which Shaddix shares vocals with singer Skylar Grey, belongs to this category. The tune itself is very well done and the two voices go together in an excellent way. This duet adds an extra to Papa Roach’s sound, which makes the album to an entertaining way of spending time. “Help” marks the third song in the ‘trilogy’, a number that starts acoustic before turning into a riff-based mainstream rocker that is free of any cliché.
To balance these tracks there are also the heavy tunes present on the album. The title track “Crooked Teeth" has an angry and aggressive expression and also “My Medication”, with its alternation between loud and moderate, makes quite some noise.
To round of the diversity on this longplayer I need to mention “Born for Greatness” which is more a crossover-based song with raging verse and a catchy chorus. It’s a bit of an atypical song on this album but it’s definitely a cool track with ‘twinkle in the eye’ lyrics. Towards the end Papa Roach moves their sound towards a darker and creepier vibe. The closer “None of the Above” includes these mentioned elements and it’s the hypnotic beat that puts a spell on you. It's a great ending of an album that includes three bonus tracks as part of the deluxe edition (which also includes an extra DVD with a show the band played at Fillmore, Detroit). “Ricochet”, “Nothing” and “Bleeding Through” could have been all part of the album since they can easily compete with the ten tracks.
This album impresses me. It’s a dynamic and modern metal record that shows Papa Roach in great shape and form. This longplayer is heavy, moderate, soulful, angry and raging – all weaved into the ten songs and it’s these authentic emotions the band transports with their music that makes the difference between good and excellent.
- Break the Fall
- Crooked Teeth
- My Medication
- Born for Greatness
- American Dreams
- Periscope (Feat. Skylar Grey)
- Sunrise Trailer Park (Feat. Machine Gun Kelly)
- None of the Above
- Ricochet (Bonus)
- Nothing (Bonus)
- Bleeding Through (Bonus)
Label: Eleven Seven Music / Warner ADA
Genre: Modern Metal
Release Date EU: May 19th, 2017