Papa Roach – The Connection (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
PAPA Roach return to something like their best form with sixth studio album The Connection, which successfully combines their early power with their recent more radio friendly approach.
Packed with 13 hard rocking tracks, and the odd quiet moment, this is a powerhouse record that finds Jacoby Shaddix encouraging fans to “scream your heart out” at one point – a rallying call to fans to get behind the album and shout about it from the rooftops.
Likewise, lead single Still Swingin’ sounds as much like a statement of intent as it is a self-proclaiming recognition of their survival instinct. For while many nu-metal bands have fallen by the wayside, Papa Roach and Linkin Park continue to be the standard-bearers in many ways.
Admittedly, there isn’t a great deal of variation in the songs given that most exist to rock the hell out of you, as if recorded with one ear on their boisterous live shows.
But while early offerings such as Still Swingin’ and Where Did The Angels Go are all about delivering killer riffs and anthemic choruses, evidence of their more commercial side can be found on the highly melodic power rock of Before I Die.
In the electronic backed ‘ballad’ Leader of the Broken Hearts, meanwhile, they have one song that boasts genuine crossover appeal… a track that if you asked non-fans who was behind it, they might not be able to answer correctly.
Yes, the chorus hits some sky-scraping heights but the stripped back verses show the kind of ear for melody that should make the song a sure-fire single, and one that reaches beyond their normal followers.
The band’s sense of the grand, meanwhile, is evident on the debauchery drenched Give Me Back My Life, an epic slice of angst-ridden power-rock that chronicles a battle with drink and excess, while they even drop in a rapped rock style akin to Linkin Park on moments like Won’t Let Up (but successfully so).
There are some run-of-the-mill moments, such as the punk-edged Breathe You In or the generic Walking Dead (the type of which is two a penny on alt-rock US radio stations).
But in the main, there are more hits than misses on an album that rocks hard and quite often exhilarates.
Download picks: Still Swingin, Where Did The Angels Go, Leader of the Broken Hearts, Give Me Back My Life, Won’t Let Up