Papa Roach, ‘F.E.A.R.’ – Album Review
Papa Roach are now eight albums into their nearly two-decade-long career, but they’re showing no signs of wear. The veteran rockers have teamed up with producers Kevin and Kane Churko to deliver yet another hard-hitting, but fresh-feeling collection with their new disc, ‘F.E.A.R.’
It’s been well documented that Papa Roach changed up their process for the new album, going into the studio with no material created in advance. This led to a fresher, more immediate feel to the music, and much of the album has a harder edge to it this time around. The Churko producing team also added a more electronic vibe to some of the album’s tracks, including the album opening title cut ‘Face Everything and Rise.’
For those not fully embracing the electronics of the lead single, don’t fret. There are plenty of tracks that fall into what fans have come to love from the band. Songs such as ‘Skeletons,’ ‘Love Me Till It Hurts’ ‘War Over Me’ and ‘Broken as Me’ would feel right at home on other P-Roach albums and are solid, gritty, hard-rocking additions to the band’s catalog. ‘Broken as Me’ in particular feels like a radio single in the making.
But Papa Roach are not content just to rest on the familiar. ‘Gravity’ feels like a track where the band is pushing the boundaries of what we’ve come to know, with the song starting more like a hip-hop song with Jacoby Shaddix laying down lyrics in more of a rap style, but laying his soul bare with confessional lyrics. Add in some perfect compliment vocals from In This Moment‘s Maria Brink and you’ve got the makings of a Papa Roach favorite. And, as Papa Roach do so well, the band also digs deep and makes a personal connection with mid-tempo standout ‘Never Have to Say Goodbye.’
Brink’s guest appearance isn’t the only one either. The band, who rarely invite others onto songs, made space for guest rapper Royce da 5’9″ on the song ‘Warriors,’ a track that was the first preview song from the album. So, all in all, long time Papa Roach fans should be happy with a disc that delivers some of the radio-ready hard rock they’ve come to love, but takes some chances along the way to expand the scope of what we’ve come to expect from the band. Papa Roach have faced everything and continue to rise to the challenge of making interesting music.