Music Review: Papa Roach – Metamorphosis

papa-roachPapa Roach has an image problem.  When starting to work on this review, I popped their new CD “Metamorphosis” into Winamp & immediately noticed they were categorized as ‘Rap Metal’.   While that might have been true at one point, this is a band that has obviously been influenced by their time on Cruefest (specifically Sixx A.M) but more on that later.  They might still fall somewhere in the nu metal genre, but it’s unfair to write them off too easily with a simple label.  I want you to keep an open mind, mmmk?

Now, that being said let’s talk about the fifth major label release from the boys out of Cali.  If you’re a fan, you’re not gonna be disappointed with this one.  They’ve strayed little from the territory covered in 2006’s “The Paramour Sessions” – in fact my only complaint is several songs are strongly derivative of their own earlier works (or in the case of “March Out of the Darkness”, a little vintage Pink Floyd perhaps).

Undeniably, after ten years as a band, vocalist Jacoby Shaddix, guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance & new drummer Tony Palermo know how to mix a decent, guitar fueled rock anthem with blatant radio accessability – even if their hormonal subject matter might make such airplay difficult in certain instances.   Clearly there has been a focus on marketing with this release, but no more than any other MTV worthy rock band & in my opinion, not at the expense of quality song writing.

However, the first two singles “Lifeline” & “Hollywood Whore” are not the best representation of what is contained in this CD – at least as I see it.  Both of those tunes are more ballad-ish, while superior chant-alongs like “I Almost Told You That I Loved You” and “Live This Down” SHOULD be what is cranking out on the air waves.  Again, the lyrical content is probably the issue here but would love to hear those tunes played live.

Speaking of lyrics, Sixx A.M’s vocalist James Michael had a hand in co-writing the words for 5 of the songs (including the last two mentioned) and frankly, his prescence is strongly felt but doesn’t explain the apparent Jekyll/Hyde nature between some of the tracks; some being angry break-up rants, others seemingly about addiction and still others being thinly veiled homages to backstage naughtiness.  Jacoby seems unafraid to spill his guts lyrically, which makes for an all-over-the-road feel if playing the disc straight through but does leave one appreciating that the bad boy frontman has his demons as well.  “Carry Me” for example has a great chorus with “the hardest ones to love, are the ones who need it most” – possible influenced by the very public problems the band had with former drummer/founding member Dave Buckner.   Honest without being schmaltzy,  “Carry Me” would’ve been my vote for first single if something slower was needed.

So in the end, I’ve found myself replaying this disc a lot but not for the songs I originally thought would pull me in.  Instead, I found little gems hidden away that had me hitting the ‘repeat’ button more than once after finding them.  There’s a little bit of everything – rockers (including a guitar solo by Mick Mars on “Into The Light”),  odes to survival & overcoming obstacles and then the  occasional slower tempoed piece.  But thankfully no real filler.

The guys are currently touring with Avenged Sevenfold & Buckcherry, and this seems to be a great fit for where they’re at musically these days.  Check them out when they come to your area & do give the CD a listen.

This ain’t just your momma’s rock band anymore.

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One Response to “Music Review: Papa Roach – Metamorphosis”

  1. Only a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding layout.

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