Late nineties, early noughties nu-metal giants Papa Roach have been quiet for the last few years. It’s a shame, too, because they had a real flair for writing instantly recognisable, catchy music. In fact, almost everyone into metal has heard their anthem Last Resort, so it’s great for music fans to see that they’re back on the scene with a new, full length studio album, entitled The Connection.
From the off, it’s plain to see that Papa Roach are back with a vengeance, and they mean business. The first song on the album (after the slow, vocal-less Intro) is called Still Swingin’. Obviously, the band believe they’ve still got it, and it’s also plain to see that Swingin’ they definitely are.
What’s really strange (and yet fantastic) about it is that it still sounds like the Papa Roach that we all know and love, and yet the sound itself has matured away from the nu-metal image that the band had before. It’s still really rather heavy, but it has much less of a ‘muddy’ quality to the music than before. It’s as if the band have changed their sound just enough to fit in with the style of metal music that’s around today, but it doesn’t feel like they’ve done this to just ‘fit in’. The choruses are suitably epic, uplifting and soulful, there’s even some well placed synthesizers in the backgrounds giving great effect (Wish You Never Met Me). The guitars are still very distorted, but easily audible, giving a great, warm tone and the bass is still exactly the same quality that Roach ever had – excellent.
Vocally, there’s more tune to it. The Connection is a lot more lyric based than older Roach, there’s more vocal harmonising than before, and the lyrics feel much more emotive and thoughtful than they ever did. This is a great move for Papa Roach, who have obviously aged and their music has clearly changed to reflect that very well.
It’s not like there’s any issues with The Connection, either. Fans of the older Papa Roach will have grown up alongside them, and will be mature enough to take these changes as they come. New fans of Papa Roach who might have been too young at the time will be introduced to a great band through this album, and a new generation of fans will learn to love them, so it’s not like even the differences on this album will cause them to lose fans. If anything, they’ll gain them.
So overall, Papa Roach have played their cards exactly right with The Connection. It’s got a little bit of everything, a lot of old Roach sound but with a lot more of a mature flair than they ever had, and it looks like they’re set to be taking the metal charts by storm.
Papa Roach. Still Swingin’? Definitely.
2. Still Swinging
3. Where Did the Angels Go
4. Silence is the Enemy
5. Before I Die
6. Wish You Never Met Me
7. Give Me Back My Life
8. Breathe You In
9. Leader of the Broken Hearts
10. Not That Beautiful
11. Walkjing Dead
12. Won’t Let Up
13. As Far As I Remember