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Papa Roach on the Road

Claire Stephens | Thursday, September 30, 2010

For those able to make it to the Papa Roach/Trapt concert at Club Fever this Wednesday who liked what they heard, and for those of you who could not make it but are fans of Papa Roach or Trapt, both have new albums recently released or soon to be released.

Papa Roach’s new album “Time for Annihilation… On the Record and on the Road,” was released August 31 under the Eleven Seven Music label, produced by David Bendeth. The band consists of Jacoby Shaddix (lead vocals), Jerry Horton (lead guitar, backing vocals), Tobin Esperance (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Tony Palermo (drums, percussion, backing vocals). Including five new tracks as well nine live tracks from 2009 tour, this album mixes Papa Roach’s slightly varied genres of hard rock, alternative rock, alternative metal and nu metal.

Those who aren’t particular fans of screaming metal rock or only knowing Papa Roach’s more mainstream rock singles “Scars” and “Last Resort” might be hesitant about the new album — especially because only five of the songs were new studio tracks. Even listeners who aren’t particularly fans of live renditions because the songs are too varied from the beloved originals, or worse, not musically up to par with studio versions, might honestly not expect to like Papa Roach’s new album.

Prepare to be extremely surprised. The first five tracks had intriguing and original electro-rock sounds throughout the songs and, though the melodies might at first seem predictable and repetitive, they often prove that theory wrong at some point in the track. Fans of Papa Roach’s harder rock will most likely enjoy the new tracks: “Burn,” “One Track Mind,” “Kick in the Teeth” and “Enemy” all sound as expected. “No Matter What” is the exception as a mellower, slower song with a focus on lyrics and vocals. They don’t abandon the rock genre entirely, though, proving Papa Roach’s versatility in song writing lyrically, musically and performing within a genre.

Even more impressive than the studio album tracks were the live tracks from their tours. Their live performance is as good as, if not better, than their studio recordings. Both the music and the vocals were dead-on and could easily fool the listener into thinking they were listening to a studio recording. The band as a whole performs flawlessly live, and Shaddix’s vocal performance proves he does in fact have an incredible, enduring voice behind some of the band’s gruffer, louder music.

In addition to being excellent recordings from a listening perspective, Papa Roach took the live aspect a step further by bringing personality, reality and wit to their live performances. Shaddix’s communication with the crowd is clever, humorous and what could be expected out of a hard rocker lead. He pumps up the crowd, using the off-color language somewhat frequently and occasional smart-aleck commentary. At the same time, Shaddix co-wrote all of the songs on the album with fellow band members, producers and others, so he brings the very personal aspect of song-writing and performing creative work before millions (as well as a special message to the listener in the last 39 seconds of “Last Resort”).

Overall, “Time for Annihilation” is a wise purchase for fans of Papa Roach and of hard rock alike. The new music — as well as the live versions of favorites like “Scars,” “Last Resort” and “Getting Away with Murder” — prove the band is a truly talented ensemble of song writers and musicians with charismatic personality and individuality.