Papa Roach - Crooked Teeth

Papa Roach Crooked Teeth cover
Papa Roach
Crooked Teeth
Eleven Seven
The first time I encountered Papa Roach’s homogenized melodic rock rap was as without a doubt when I heard “Last Resort”, the song that catapulted them to the fore of the public eye. It was ripping “hard” on Iron Maiden’s “Prowler” etc. but so be it… otherwise it was a predictable “angry white boy, rap rock sample”, like a gazillion other bands were doing at the time. Twenty years after their debut and seventeen years after their “biggest” hit, the ninth release of Papa Roach sounds just as groundbreaking as they did back then. I.e. not at all…
“Break the Fall” is more Beastie Boys up to a point, before it goes Linkin Park.
“Crooked Teeth” is the leadoff single and somewhat OK as a track, a bit like a lighter version of “commercial” Slipknot. Bloody predictable, down to the last “Teeth”.
“My Medication” retreads the PR meets LP territory with a soft intro and predictable raps.
“Born for Greatness” is badly “patriotic” and in the face of all the BS going on it’s at best yobish.
“American Dreams” tries to also “feed” the rebellion sentiment – by both going “Murica” is great while trying to validate stuff, while calling out the BS so as to be “liberal” and pseudo-radical… the archetypal of pseudo-leftist arty-(f)artistry, while also trying to sound patriotic and conservative.
“Periscope” (feat Skylar Grey) is a ballad, a nice Pop/schadenfraude sort of number that works well enough and I wonder how it hasn’t come up as a single just yet, unlike “Help”, the second single, which is a predictable as funk Linkin Park-esque number with a semi-decent hook.
“Sunrise Trailer Park” (feat. Machine Gun Kelly) is the worst possible thing. Think a bad “ballad” mixed with rap and country/southern shit… you know “lamenting” the sixteen and pregnant generation… suck it fellas, just don’t make a song out of it, glorifying the “lifestyle”.
“Traumatic” ain’t too crappy, something between InMe (if anyone remembers them) and LP.
“None of the Above” is another unimaginative rock rapper, that even name checks a popular pop number from yesteryear.
“Ricochet” is expectedly higher octane shit, with start stop dynamics that sort of work, but too plain otherwise to really make any lasting impression.
“Nothing” has a nice enough melody that it repeats to the point it grinds it down, but it’s one of the “sleeper” songs of the album that while not a hit, sort of works… definitely not a miss-fire then
“Bleeding Through” has an almost danceable beat in the intro, a more electronic track that doesn’t manage to outgrow the homogeny of the style or the album, but at least isn’t a complete dud.
With very little to no progression in over two decades, if you liked the band in its inception, you’re likely to like them now, unless you grew them and their two bit songwriting, out and became a “prog” frog/fan!