Papa Roach is one of the bands that is synonymous with Nu Metal. Short songs, catchy hooks, angsty lyrics, rapping, distorted guitars. I admit that back when I was a freshman in high school, this was my CD. I don't want to say I was a stereotypical teen with angst, but this CD helped me get through many problems and days. I don't really know how, but it did.
In spite of their mainstream success, angsty lyrics and angry rapping...these guys aren't really that bad if you give them a chance. Sure, alot of it is cliche, but sometimes you need to just step back and listen to the CD before judging it.
Coby Dick - Vocals
Tobin Esperance - Bass
David Buckner - Drums
Jerry Horton - Guitars
Infest - The title track isn't really that special here. This is their intro, to essentially tell you what they, and their album is going to be about, talking about how they are going to infest, about problems with family, etc. Main riffs aren't that bad but they don't stand out.
Last Resort - If you've never heard this song, you were in a hole from 1999-2001 or so. This is the whole "**** the world, I want to die" kind of song. Lyrics are so cliche it hurts...and repetitive. But it's catchy...the first 100 times. Listening to it now, for the first time in almost a year...it still gets me headbanging, slightly. Not a Tool headbang, or a Dream Theater headbang...but it's still catchy. One of the best parts of this band, IMO, is the drumming...not the level of Carey or Portnoy or such, but it seems to be on a slightly higher level than the rest of the band
Broken Home - Not nearly as overplayed as Last Resort, but still played often. This one goes into more personal detail about Coby's broken family life. Starts off with the panning/delay/flange in the guitar, and deep bass before ripping into one of the main riffs. I like Papa Roach, because despite the simplicity of the basslines, they are audible, which can't be said usually for other nu metal acts (Linkin Park, for example). The bass and drums are quite tight, actually, something else I haven't noticed in other bands like this. There is a softer, spoken part in here...before ripping into screaming. The ending is similar to the beginning, save some minor machine-gunning. Decent
Dead Cell - This made it onto one of the Tony Hawk games, I don't remember which one. This is one of their better songs I think...I like the main riff, it's fast, and somewhat more upbeat sounding than the previous songs. The bass riff in the chorus follows the drums very nicely actually. Tiny little bridge section which repeats the intro a bit before breaking into a new verse...is this repetitive? Sure...but it's not bad at all.
Between Angels and Insects - One of my favorites, this one has a darker vibe to it, especially in the opening part with Coby's singing voice...it's a shame he doesn't sing like this on the rest of the album, because I like it alot. The main/chorus riff is pretty slow and somewhat chuggy, but I like it anyway. The lyrics here deal with societal ills...still cliche in a way, but not as bad as say, Last Resort. They go into a bridge...and one of the rarest things ever occurs...bass solo
. It's not Myung, it's not Sheehan, it's not even Chancellor. But you know what, I like it alot for its placement and simplicity. Now we get two or so more choruses before we fade out...with more basswork behind the guitars, doing the main riff higher up. Very nice indeed.
Blood Brothers - Didn't this make it to a Tony Hawk game too? Hm. This one has like two overdubbed guitar parts...and a bassline that's higher up playing the main riff for an intro before breaking it wide open. This is a really simple song, but makes a very good, ominous point that "It's in our nature to destroy ourselves". Bridge section after the second verse/chorus set...it's not long nor very special though. Another couple of chorus sections before he screams "kill" fifty million times...
Revenge - My second favorite song...I love the intro to this, the way it builds up and has the second guitar part w/ wah behind it all. Lyrical content deals with some girl who had an abusive boyfriend and stuff...the guitar line is pretty melodic I think for being nu metal, it has a somber feel to it. Bridge comes up, with the main riff getting slightly heavier before breaking into this hip-hopish section which has tremolo picked guitar, thick bassline and straight rap...before breaking back into a heavier main riff...a second not-quite-a-bridge comes up toward the end before hitting another chorus. One of the better efforts, even with the weird section in the middle
Snakes - My least favorite song on here. The main riff is alright I guess...but it's not something I love listening to. The lyrics here are weird...I'm not sure if this is about people, drugs, or what. The rapping in this song is pretty weak I think, and the lyrics aren't much better...in fact, they are probably by the worst on the album in my opinion. Not a song I like at all
Never Enough - More singing than rapping on this one, which is a good thing...longish intro sets the pace, which isn't too fast or slow...this seems to be a song of defeat, of resignation. Again, lyrical paragons they are not...but I like it when Coby drops the rap and sings...he sings both the verse and the chorus, which ups this song quite a bit in my eyes...main riffs are catchy, overdubbed second guitar line through the verse which is slightly faster...bass and drums are still super tight...go into a bridge section in which the bass and drums get quieter over a fast palm-muted run from the guitar...scream a little bit, and a second set of bridge riffs come in before hitting up another chorus or two.
Binge - Opens up on a 'happier' note than every other song on here...this is about drinking, and the issues about reliance on the bottle...meh. The drumming is pretty good in this one, with the main rhythm being kept on toms and such at first, a la Danny Carey...not to say it's the caliber of Carey, but it sounds like something he'd do...Parabola comes to mind, but anyway, getting way off track here...this is a really repetitive song until the third verse at the end...and even then that's repetitive...
Thrown Away - My favorite song on the album...clocks in at 9:37, and what an interesting ride. Opening riff is heavy, and in-your-face. Sure, I can think of tons of riffs heavier than this, but I love it anyway. It's a shame Coby didn't sing this song too, because it's filled with rapping...it fits, really, but I think it'd be interesting to hear this song with nothing but singing in it. I think this is about drugs, at least a little bit...who cares? It's about some guy who went down the wrong path...yeah...well, that seems to be most of their songs, but whatever, I'm overanalyzing now. Bridge section comes up, which is a repeat of the intro at first...I think the drums got overdubbed at least a little, because they, or at least the snare, sounds huge in this section...tons of reverb anyway. Main riffs are thrown around a bit here, change ups, an overdubbed tremolo run in the background...then a new set of riffs come in...Coby screams "Thrown away" about 10 times...then the riffs change again as we get "Voices in my head~!" and some other screaming over it...this is the only time I can think of where the bass breaks with the drums...we get "LAST REMAIN!" a few times...then around 4:10 the song ends....but it doesn't end...weird sampled sounds and **** go down till about the 5 minute mark...when they start playing again...I dunno if this is supposed to be a hidden track or whatever, but it's got a totally different feel from the rest of the entire album...I don't really know what genre it would fit into, but it's not really nu-metally sounding...it has almost an island-like feel to it, at least the beat...with some distortion, flange, etc...this goes until 7:25, and Coby sings a bit...reminds me of some reggae...that's it...this is like a reggae song, at least sort of...guitar does some pseudo-soloing at 8:52 or so...and start the fade-out at 9:20...
These guys get alot of hell I'm sure for being who they are, and the fact that they appealed to that hardcore-MTV-loving-wannabe crowd. I admit that I liked them alot a few years ago, and I admit I still listen to them now, but I didn't go about it the same way...Papa Roach is not that heavy, and they aren't hardk0re or anything...but Infest is not, overall, a bad album. If you totally hate this kind of music, this one won't help you think otherwise...if you like any kinds of alt/nu metal, give this a listen...there are some decent songs amongst the trash...you could skip Last Resort every time if you've heard it enough to last you a lifetime, and still have a good listening experience. I give it a solid 3/5
for putting out an underrated, and pretty decent nu-metal album