Through a series of twists and turns, Papa Roach have somehow always managed to stay on top of what’s cutting edge, and so it continues on their latest and eighth outing.
Sure, as usual, there are large chunks of the album that are perfect for radio and Jacoby Shaddix still harbours a mainstream rock voice as good as anyone.
But the electro punishment of Warriors has more in common with Crossfaith than any band that remain from the late 90s and the album’s centerpiece, Gravity, is propelled by a beat out of the Eminem playbook, some astoundingly introspective lyrics, a claustrophobic and sombre feeling and an impressive cameo from In This Moment’s Maria Brink. The testosterone-sweating Broken As Me and Hope For The Hopeless are Grade-A meat’n’potatoes hard rock, but there is a slew of fairly tepid mid-tempo ballads that are shown up by the album’s better material and make the album as a whole something of a slog. F.E.A.R. sees Papa Roach continuing to avoid the pitfall of becoming a nostalgia act like so many of their peers and continues to push their experimental boundaries as a band. There may be some filler here, but, at its best, F.E.A.R. is glorious.
Via Eleven Seven Music