Taproot are very much the ‘lost children’ of the nu-metal era, the also-rans who never quite emulated the success of contemporaries such as (their former mentors) Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, System Of A Down and Korn. Despite a few moments of glory – such as the poignant ‘Poem’, back in 2002 – they have been very much a footnote to the history of this particular sub-genre.
Unfortunately, it must be said, the Michigan quartet are not going to elevate themselves much higher, with this, their eighth album. While ‘The Episodes’ – complete with its conceptualized TV series theme – is difficult to place into even the strictest nuances of the ‘nu-metal’ categorization, it also finds itself burdened with the fact that it is too predictable, too undemanding on the ear to lift itself above the level of ‘so what?’ mediocrity.
There are some good moments – such as the surprising death metal interlude in ‘Memorial Park’ and some nice guitar lines on ‘Around The Bend’ and the HIM-esque ‘A Kiss From The Sky’ or the Pearl Jam groove of the penultimate ‘A Golden Grey’ – but they are not enough, and the overall effect is of 30 Seconds To Mars jamming with My Chemical Romance.
Having said all that, it is better than the combined efforts of the last Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park albums put together.
A reluctantly disappointing 4/10.
‘The Episodes’ is available now on Victory Records.