In what came as very welcome news for Papa Roach fans, it was no secret that following the May 2017 release of their most recent album, ‘Crooked Teeth,’ the band had set aside all of their time off from the road throughout 2018 to get straight back into the studio and work on its follow-up. Clearly the vision and passion they were attempting to continue drawing from was not lost, with ‘Crooked Teeth’’s follow-up ‘Who Do You Trust?’ already set for release in just a week’s time. ‘Who Do You Trust?’ comes with a particularly different theme visually, which had some fans feeling a little bit wary about what the sound would be like, so we took the plunge and dove in headfirst to find out.
Opening track The Ending is a spacy, hip-hoppy track, merging all of the different sounds Papa Roach have become known for into one track – heavy music, screaming, a powerful anthemic chorus, rapping and synthy sounds all melded in one track. While that sounds potentially overwhelming, it works as none of the individual elements are too overdone. Renegade Music continues along a similar theme, before blasting out in a huge chorus, reminiscent of frontman Jacoby Shaddix’s angsty vocals of albums past. As Renegade Music progresses, it becomes reminiscent of many tracks off the ‘Crooked Teeth’ album. With the line “Are you ready for some new sh*t? This is renegade music,” throughout the track, we are left feeling curious as to how the sound will evolve over the course of the album.
Not the Only One immediately shakes things up. Acoustic meets hip hop, with a strong rhythm section, courtesy of bassist Tobin Esperence and drummer Tony Palermo, before the heavy-meets-groovy chorus blasts through your eardrums. A catchy track by all means, but also one that may take a few listens to grow on some old-school Papa Roach fans. Lead single Who Do You Trust? makes for another catchy track, proving once and for all that this album is neither just ‘rock’ or ‘hip hop,’ but more so bringing a long overdue update of Nu Metal back to the table.
With anthemic verses, Elevate will surely be a highlight live. Things are stripped back musically, this time bringing guitarist Jerry Horton’s playing to the forefront, while simultaneously allowing Shaddix to strip back his vocals for a moment also – but only until the synths kick in during the choruses. This song could easily be compared to ‘Crooked Teeth’’s Periscope, coming as a timely reminder of how eager the boys were to continue on the same energy, passion and inspirations they were feeding off during the writing and recording of ‘Crooked Teeth’ not even two years ago.
Come Around slows things down a notch, with extremely pertinent lyrics for this day and age. Shaddix has always been open about his mental health struggles, so this track feels almost like an open letter to anyone who has ever struggled with theirs. With heavy lyrics, Come Around is sure to hit everyone right in the heart with its relatable but inspiring message and feels almost like a modern-day update of their widely-acclaimed 2004 track Scars. This is a song everybody should listen to at least once, Papa Roach fan or not.
Feels Like Home ups the ante again, jumping back to a more upbeat track, really allowing Esperence’s bass and Horton’s guitars to shine through. Stepping back to their ever-popular rock sound, this is another song sure to be popular amongst their entire fanbase demographic. Problems brings through a new groovy and bluesy sound for the foursome, whilst managing to not steer too clear from their tried and true sound. By this point in the album, it’s become clear that they went into the studio with the intention of chasing whatever excited and inspired them, bringing together such a wide range of genres and sounds in a way that feels like its redefining Nu Metal.
Politically-charged track Top of the World is short but sweet, catchy and powerful all in one neatly wrapped package. Fans of the ‘Getting Away with Murder’ and ‘Metamorphosis’ albums will be particularly drawn to this track. It’s the classic rock Papa Roach that we’ve all come to know so well. I Suffer Well throws us straight back in the deep end into the heavy, fast (really fast) new sound that’s made its debut on this album. While it’s short, at less than 90 seconds long, it sure is powerful.
Maniac takes us back thematically to Shaddix’s older songs battling through his mental health and addiction struggles. If you were to think of a sound that sums up Papa Roach as a band, this is it in a single song. Closing track Better than Life brings us full circle to the modern synthy, hip-hoppy sound which has made its public debut on this album. Unlike anything Papa Roach have released before, there are of course heavy moments, which we are treated to those during the chorus – and they are heavy.
As a whole, ‘Who Do You Trust?’ brings with it both the old-school sounds of Papa Roach that we’ve come to know and love over their 20-year career, as well as some very new and very modern sounds. Having established themselves and their trademark on the rock world, Papa Roach have clearly been chasing what has inspired and excited them – managing to also give the Nu Metal genre a much-needed modern day update.
Pre-order Papa Roach’s ‘Who Do You Trust?’ HERE!