Review Summary: Papa Roach grew up a bit! Papa Roach became a proper rock band while they were at it!
Solid new material alongside shockingly better live versions of their older material.Time for Annihilation
is a confusing release - 9 live tracks, 5 studio tracks. Neither a live album nor a full new one, it initially sounds like a cheap way to get some singles out. But, despite the clearly carefully considered commercial purposes of this release it is actually an impressive release with a specific purpose. Time for Annihilation
marks the final chapter in Papa Roach’s re-invention as a legitimate alternative metal band.
Many people who have caught Papa Roach live at festivals/supporting slots comment that even if they are not fans of their albums, they deliver a great live show. If you are one of those people, this is the album for you. The track list focuses more on their harder hiding recent material than on their dated sounding hits, concisely summarising this period well.
While there are two songs from major label debut Infest
(2000), there are no offerings from 2002’s Lovehatetragedy
. Instead, Metamorphosis
(2009) and Getting Away With Murder
(2004) supply two songs each, while 2006’s The Paramour Sessions
provide the most – tallying in at three. This combined with the five new tracks – more than the usual one or two bonus tracks you might expect – do everything they can to bury the band’s rap rock/nu-metal past.
The band’s early 2000s success might have been where they made their name and their money, but it proved a burden in later years –the “teen metal” tag followed the band everywhere as did the word “sell out”. While it’s true that Kurt Cobain would be proud of the amount of consistent introverted, angsty musical output the band has made, somewhere en route to becoming multi-millionaires, the wimpy whiners got some balls. The music becomes more aggressive and there’s some real bite here, driven along by some tight grooves.
The new songs continue this trend for superior writing and production. "Burn" is a simple headbanger, "One Track Mind" is a danceable hook and riff-fest for the clubs, while "Kick in the Teeth" is a singalong anthem cookie-cut for festival crowds. The only weak song in the bunch is "No Matter What" - it's a bit of a generic ballad, but with a guitar melody that goes nowhere and poor vocals. Final new song "The Enemy" is not much better, but it has a more vintage Roach sound so leads into the older live material well.
This isn’t quite maturity, but they don’t sound like teenagers anymore and it works well in the live context. The band’s live shows are raw and powerful. This album isn’t saturated with the disgusting amount of production that turned early Roach albums into a swamp of studio magic and synthesisers. Even if Papa Roach’s big hits put you off the band a decade ago, I would recommend investigating this release.
The main competition for this release is the recently put out compilation To Be Loved...The Best of Papa Roach
. That album contains slightly more hits, but this one is a far