‘Cut my life into pieces! This is mah last resort!’ – the soundtrack for would-be ‘hard’ adolescent grungers circa 2000. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine Papa Roach coming of age. Like Peter Pan and Jon Bon Jovi, you sort of assume they’ll remain sprightly, slightly petulant youths forever.
Nevertheless, riding on 2010’s Time For Annihilation and a monster live reputation, The Connection continues this foray into more adult rock/alt-metal, while reviving old-school P Roach.
With tracks like Still Swingin’ – a triumphant blend of crunching metal, venomous rap-rock and speedy syncopation – it works really well. They still have an awful lot of feelings, mind – sentiments of hopelessness, fires burning inside and standing on battlefields abound (Leader Of The Broken Hearts pulls this off pretty touchingly).
If you embrace nu-metal fully, the hip-hoppy loops and ‘pensive’ keyboards in certain tracks will appeal. If not, they’re pretty ineffectual. Highs and lows, then.