album review

Papa Roach - F.E.A.R.

Released January 27, 2015
Lisa Sanchez
​Don't worry intelligent people, you read that title correctly. Do not adjust your computer screens! Not only has Papa Roach (of indefinite 1999 one-hit wonder fame) released a new album, but they also have no idea how anagrams work. F.E.A.R. (Face Everything and Rise) is the once rap/metal turned dub-step/metal/radio rock band's eighth studio album. If you're even half as surprised by that number as I am, then you already know what a fantastic shit spectacle this album is.
I laughed out loud when I heard the first thirty seconds of F.E.A.R's opening track "Face Everything and Rise." Not only because of the cringe-worthy title, but because it somehow mixes the late 90s Papa Roach punchy delivery with drum machines and agonizing keyboard effects. I'm pretty sure Papa Roach ripped off their effects from a B-side Asking Alexandria effect. Then, they tried to cover it up with Jacoby Shaddix clean singing so you don't remember this is the band that gave us "Last Resort".
Trudging deeper into the muck of F.E.A.R proves completely futile. "Broken as Me" sounds like the band is almost re-hashing their old turn-of-the-millennium styles with heavier guitar and prevalent bass drums, which still isn't good, but it's at least amusing for the sake of nostalgia. However, "Skeletons", "Falling Apart", and "Love Me Till It Hurts" are basically the same song in slightly different tempos, heavy chorus, and constant streams of mediocre guitar sounds, self-doubt and deprecation. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
But, despair not! Papa Roach know they can never live down when they were fat Goth kids in the early 2000s singing about suicide in an ill-fated rap-metal band. Because of this reputation, they offer up "Gravity" on a silver platter. Shaddix raps* (I shudder to declare his fumbled sing-songing rapping). Oh, and it's complete with some terribly awkward female spoken-word overlaying part of the track. "Gravity" is one terrible jumble of rapping*, Shaddix's wailing, and this poor, hopefully anonymous, prostitute they hired to speak nonsense over a completely what-the-fuck track, proving some train wrecks are even too horrible to watch.
The final track on F.E.A.R, "Fear Hate Love" is pretty tolerable. It's catchy, not overdone, and thankfully marks the end of the album. I feel like the degree of awful for F.E.A.R needs no real explanation. Papa Roach has had two distinct historical periods where anyone was under the delusion they were good: 1999 and 2004. Somehow two points of light in a sea of rap-metal and eyeliner does not seem like a solid base for a new album. I'm just saying, maybe Papa Roach should just Forget Everything And Retire. (See what I did there?)