Album Review: Papa Roach - Who Do You Trust?

16 January 2019 | 4:30 pm | Brendan Crabb

"It doesn't prove overly convincing."

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Since breaking through via the mega-selling rap/metal angst of 2000's Infest, Papa Roach spent many years reinventing themselves as an alternative/rock-radio staple Stateside. Revisiting the hip hop elements of their formative days on previous LP Crooked Teeth also proved that even reviled trends like nu-metal really do come full-circle.

Prolific if nothing else, perhaps it's their approach of having one foot in the then and the other in the now (note the ultra-modern, electronic-backed rock production values here) that's been integral to their success lately. On Who Do You Trust? though, the results can feel contrived.

It feels as if the band were consciously eyeing off featured spots on major rock playlists with cuts such as Come Around or Problems' triteness. Some of the rapping passages feel awkward and selected lyrics even more so, akin to your drunken uncle trying to do the Macarena at a family reunion. The title track almost veers into Rage Against The Machine light, while a Zack de la Rocha-like war cry on the trying-way-too-hard Renegade Music is wince-inducing. Elevate blends 2000's Infest with the slick sheen of an Imagine Dragons or Twenty One Pilots. It doesn't prove overly convincing. Meanwhile, I Suffer Well's furious punk leanings at least offer something remotely fresh amid the homogenised fare.

There is clearly an audience for this caper - and Papa Roach are capable of reeling off an infectious melody that will get stuck in your cranium. However, while this album's likely to please diehard fans, for the unconverted it might be a last resort.