Genre: Nu Metal
Record Label: Eleven Seven Music
Release Date: January 26th 2015
Jacoby Shaddix ,vocals
Jerry Horton, guitars
Tobin Esperance, bass
Tony Palermo, drums
1. Face Everything And Rise
3. Broken As Me
4. Falling Apart
5. Love Me Till It Hurts
6. Never Have To Say Goodbye
8. War Over Me
11. Hope For The Hopeless
12. Fear Hate Love
F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise) sees the Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum rock outfit return with their eighth album and deliver a melodic tour de force that should appeal to fans old and new. Described in their own press release as infectious, it’s definitely a word to sum up the output here. Having relocated to Las Vegas, to work with father-and-son super-producers Kevin and Kane Churko, the band actually lived under the same roof, presumably providing a support mechanism for Jacoby who entered into the recording process clean and sober and remained as such for the duration.
Speaking to Jerry Horton recently, Jerry confirmed that it made the recording process so much easier. Jacoby was less intense, happier to let the rest of the band do their thing, deliver their workload without constant input from him and as such it appears that the process went a lot more smoothly.
Even Jacoby is happy to confirm that he’s sorted himself out this time; “Every time I would go on the road, I’d start clean and come home a mess. I let the road tear me apart. This time, I focused on keeping my relationships strong, my sober self healthy, and my spiritual life healthy.”
As such the energy and focus that he and the band have managed to put into the album really shines through the 12 tracks on offer. The first single and title cut open with modern dance floor synths that give way to crunchy guitar riffs and a powerful vocal underpinned with the megaphone effect that Scott Weiland utilises so well. As Jacoby chants “Face Everything And Rise” so you can imagine the crowds at the upcoming tour will bounce and sing along in unison. Infectious indeed.
The energy doesn’t diminish with the rest of the album and ‘Skeltons’ continues the vibe set with the opening track with muscular guitar work from Horton helped in no small part by a thumping rhythm from Esperance and Palermo collectively. Given that the lyrcial content speaks volumes about what has gone wrong in life and how everyone does indeed have ‘Skeletons’ that they are not proud of, it neatly segues into ‘Broken As Me’ which again delves into Jacoby’s personal life and where he was before the sobriety and healing processes began to pay off.
You only have to look at the titles to understand where the lyrical content is likely to go next with tracks like ‘Falling Apart’ , ‘Love Me Till It Hurts’ and ‘Never Have To Say Goodbye‘. It is most definitely not soul destroying or miserable. It highlights a personal struggle and overcoming adversity and everything life can throw at you. The band deliver it in such a way that it’s no wonder they receive so much fan mail stating “you helped me understand my life…”, “you gave me hope..”, “your words spoke to me” etc.. When someone is so willing to wear their heart on their sleeve lyrically as Shaddix is, putting all of these issues out there must presumably be a good form of therapy for him too (and probably saves several thousand on bills from psychiatrists as well!).
Old school rap (didn’t Jacoby once say he was done with this?) opens up ‘Gravity’ before the choral duet with In This Moment’s Maria Brink adds some weight to it. Going through Jacoby’s life and relationship issues over recent years, it brings to mind the style of Eminem’s ‘Stan’ with natch a little more gravity.
‘Warriors’ opens with yet another Ministry of Sound like anthemic intro and this time pairs Papa Roach with hip-hop star Royce da 5’9. It’s one that could easily become the band’s anthem going forward and will probably be sung en-masse by the audience before they come on stage and long after they leave.
For those that may have lost touch with Papa Roach in recent years or remember them from their glory days of that multi platinum selling début and ‘that’ single, then F.E.A.R. is the perfect moment to reacquaint themselves with the band. For those who have stuck with the band through thick and thin and relate wholly to the messages Jacoby and co are trying to get across, there is everything here to keep them engaged.
If F.E.A.R. does indeed signify a new era for Papa Roach as a result of the ‘good’ place Jacoby now finds himself in then it’s an excellent start. Full of energy and optimism, Jacoby adds a final thought “I hope people walk away believing they can do anything.”
Written by Adrian Hextall
SCORE ADRIAN 8/10
With 2015 also marking the 15th anniversary of their triple-platinum breakthrough début, ‘Infest’, the band undertake their first UK tour for more than two years in March.
The dates are as follows:
Sunday 8th Norwich, University of East Anglia
Tue 10th Bristol, 02 Academy
Wed 11th Southampton, Guildhall
Thurs 12th London, Roundhouse
Sat 14th Glasgow, Barrowland
Sun 15th Manchester, Academy
Tue 17th Birmingham, 02 Academy
Wed 18th Nottingham, Rock City
Fri 20th Dublin, Academy
Sat 21st Belfast, The Limelight
Tickets details are here: http://paparoach.com/events