In 2022, Papa Roach really don’t need to prove anything to anyone. The Californian rockers have cemented their legacy within the alternative world over the last two decades and could quite easily rest on their laurels, but their insatiable desire to evolve with each passing release is admirable if nothing else. Eleventh album Ego Trip is no less in line with this outlook, continuing to build on the more pop- orientated sound the band showcased on 2019’s Who Do You Trust?
Once more – and perhaps aided this time by the band’s activity on TikTok – no song clocks in at more than three and a half minutes long. This is a presentation of 14 tracks that don’t outstay their welcome and pack in as much as they can for maximum impact. Some of the traits that have sustained Papa Roach over the years remain very much intact, such as the nu metal bounce in the guitars on opener Kill The Noise and the arena-sized choruses that propel the title track and Cut The Line to greater heights. But these are balanced by the likes of Swerve (featuring Jason Aalon Butler from Fever 333 and rapper Sueco) and Dying To Believe, which are a mix of electronics, synths and rapping that feel a million miles away from the band who gave the world Last Resort.
It’s an odd mix of styles and sounds, but it retains enough identity to be recognisably Papa Roach. That said, if you weren’t enamoured by the last album or wish they would return to something more in line with 2000’s Infest, you’re going to be disappointed once again. For everyone else, this is another brave release by a band who simply refuse to turn on autopilot. It doesn’t always stick, but what does is highly enjoyable.