Review Summary: Papa Roach's time was running out to release a last resort to save their reputation from angels and insects
Just a few months ago, Geffen records released an extremely unimpressive compilation, “To Be Loved: The Best of Papa Roach”, to the disapproval of the band and its fans alike. Papa Roach proceeded to warn fans that they wouldn’t profit from the sales of the record, and to wait for their official new album “Time for Annihilation” to be released. Well it’s finally here, combining an EP and a greatest hits live album, Papa Roach looks to resurrect their reputation after the train wreck of an album that was Metamorphosis.
As skeptical as I was about Papa Roach releasing any post-Metamorphosis material, Papa Roach has made a nice bounce back from the trenches of mainstream mediocrity. The album kicks off with the track Burn, which is a nice throwback to the days of Infest. It’s kind of similar to the track Dead Cell off that album, with a grooving deep bassline running through the chorus. The next song, One Track Mind manages to stay consistent with Burn in terms of quality before the repetitive anthemic-esque romp that is Kick In the Teeth. Both of these songs manage to stay fun and catchy, just like you’d expect from old Papa Roach. After that comes the typical ballad No Matter What, and finally ends on a high note with The Enemy.
Overall, the five new songs are a much-needed step up from new material. After these comes nine of Papa Roach’s biggest hits live. These range from Last Resort to Scars to Forever and yes, Between Angels and Insects. Papa Roach manages to deliver a very strong live performance and a surprisingly good performance from guitarist Jerry Horton. Songs with lackluster studio versions (Lifeline, Hollywood Whore, Time Is Running Out) are injected with new energy which leads to a very enjoyable listening experience. Production is also top-notch, probably due to the bands new record label’s quality control.
One major downside to this album is the incredibly annoying stage banter uttered by frontman Jacoby Shaddix. For example, at the beginning of Hollywood Whore he manages to outdo himself in terms of class and belts out “Had enough of these motherf---ing Hollywood whores!”, as well as the beginning of Time Is Running Out when he yells “Got more gas in the tank!? Put your hands together, put your hands together!” This is supposed to be a live album, not a middle school TaiBo DVD.
As much as I’d like to hate it, Papa Roach manage to deliver an impressive performance with Time for Annihilation that overshadows it’s title and artwork immensely. It will be interesting to see what direction they go in from here. Oh and at the end of the album, Jacoby delivers a message about how you should text a number and donate five dollars to feed hungry kids in Africa. I’m not joking here, and I definitely don’t think it has a place on this album, maybe the CD booklet would have been a better place.