Papa Roach - 'F.E.A.R.'

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Papa Roach - 'F.E.A.R.'

Some may call 'F.E.A.R.' safe, some may call it predictable, but what Papa Roach do... they do really well.

Let's face it, Papa Roach left their Nu-Metal roots behind them over ten years ago. The switch to a more Modern/Classic Rock sound began with 'Getting Away With Murder' and it seems to have become more commercial with each subsequent release. There is no danger of the Roach drifting into Pop Music territory but it does appear that Messrs Jacoby Shaddix, Tobin Esperance, Jerry Horton and Tony Palermo are more content to concentrate on the quality of the music rather than let image and aggression dictate the creative mantra.

For the most part the songs on 'F.E.A.R.' are mid-tempo/up-tempo workouts. They are all similar in structure but the melodies and hooks are really strong, making the material accessible and appealing to even those with the keenest pink & fluffy bent. The album seems to feature keyboards and programmed elements in abundance, more than any other in fact. The band seem to change producers on a regular basis and these increased computerised effects could be the influence of Kane Churko, who along with his father Kevin (Five Finger Death Punch, ITM) has had a major input into the recording process. The Churko's have contributed to the song-writing and this extra dynamic has ensured a great sound and some classy atmospherics.

'Gravity' nods its head to the musical past and could almost be an Eminem track. It also features an unmistakable contribution from In This Moment lead singer Maria Brink, typically fiery but certainly an interesting addition to the usual Roach sound. The keyboards in 'War Over Me' have an orchestral feel and it gives the song a depth that is almost "epic" in nature. Royce Da 5'9" slips a vocal Rap into 'Warriors' and this contrasts nicely with Horton's crushing riffs and the continuing use of samples and loops. Shaddix's vocals have taken on a more relaxed approach on recent releases (he did have a throat issues a few years ago) but he can still slip into a caustic mode if the song dictates.

Some may call 'F.E.A.R.' safe, some may call it predictable, but what Papa Roach do... they do really well. I guess I've become comfortable with the sound now and I don't want it to change because I still love it. If you have been afraid to check out the band because you've only heard the likes of 'Last Resort', 'Dead Cell' and 'Between Angels And Insects' then do yourself and favour and embrace the 'F.E.A.R.'.

Dave Bott


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