The sky is falling and the world has gone mad and we sing our songs, and we just hold on, a line from Born for Greatness (track four of Crooked Teeth) is a sentiment which, in some ways describes Papa Roach’s career. The band have always played by their own rules, not particularly following trends and making music that they want to make with little to no compromise, each album offers up something different but doesn’t particularly follow current styles of music. Crooked Teeth offers more of this attitude; however, it may come as a surprise to hear, that this record is their strongest collection of songs for a number of years.
With a sound that can be best described as sitting somewhere between the albums Infest and Getting Away With Murder, the ten tracks of Crooked Teeth take from all aspects of Papa Roach’s career as well as offering up some fresh and interesting styles. Born For Greatness for example has a big beat, dub-step style to it, with sounds massive when pushed through a good sound system or pair of headphones. Help has a ‘shout it from the roof tops’ vocal line throughout, the sort of thing you’ve found yourself screaming at 2am in your local rock club. Its radio rock done to the highest standard, and is quite simply one of the best songs the band have ever written. One can only assume it will be a setlist mainstay for years to come.
Jacoby Shaddix provides a really strong vocal performance, as with the early moments of Papa Roach’s career, he is again rapping frequently, when this is paired with the singing and delivery of massive choruses which he has perfected through later releases, it is really a well-rounded and confident output on his behalf, from a proven personality in the world of heavy music. The high quality of the songs never really lets up throughout the thirty-three minutes of Crooked Teeth. Traumatic is a two-and-a-half-minute barnstormer which makes great use of a quiet/loud dynamic, whereas Ricochet and My Medication are quintessential Papa Roach, which will provide a fun performance when given a run out on the festival circuit.
With so many of the bands from a similar era as Papa Roach being somewhat laughable in 2017 (Linkin Park, anyone?) the Californian four piece can hold their head high, as they progress off the back of a really strong input, an album that they have achieved through being resilient, hardworking and most importantly, through simply being themselves.