Papa Roach’s latest album, Time for Annihilation…On the Record and On the Road, released today, is an album that brings the fiery, hard-rocking California band full circle. It weaves a musical tapestry of dark and light, past and present, but with the razor sharp, edgy guitar riffs, throbbing, tight percussion and wickedly raw, gut-wrenching vocal grind that is signature Papa Roach.
Time For Annihilation is a declaration of perseverance. It’s volatile and confrontational, brutally honest and fiercely gutsy. From start to finish this is an album that makes a powerful statement. The intense force that is Papa Roach, combined with the production talent of David Bendeth, gives the album additional punch. And there is something to be said for the shift to Eleven Seven Music; a swaggering, bravado that screams of being unchained, a sense of self regained.
Time for Annihilation features five new studio recordings, followed by nine Papa Roach classics that have been given a heavy shot of live performance adrenaline.
The new tracks that kick the record off glide fluidly into the live recordings, as if they were meant to be there… have always been there. Songs written in the soul before pen kissed paper. The album, in its entirety, reveals the woven strand that is, so far, the life line on the palm of Papa Roach.
The hard hitting first track on the album, “Burn” is eloquent, and potent, in its vicious, expletive-fueled, verbal assault and searing percussive rhythms. Listening to this song on the album is bliss, particularly in light of the fore-knowledge that every time we’ll hear it in the future it will either be Bowdlerized or bleeped into oblivion–much like “Last Resort”, but this time for the usual reasons, rather than the brain-numbing, political correctness of the Thought Police.
“One Track Mind” features Jerry Horton’s funky, signature guitar riffing, at times trading off with Tobin Esperance to throw in a hefty bass lead, The whole thing is carried along on a strong, drum-heavy backbone. After a whisper of techno-industrial in the opening, it merges Horton’s early p-roach, rap-metal style playing with their later heavier, rock-arena sound. The lyrics reflect a deep, brutally honest look inward. An in-your-face reminder of the addiction to self-destruction.
The album’s third track is “Kick in the Teeth”. The first single released from Time for Annihilation, it’s currently blasting its way up the charts. If I have to explain to you the raw vocal wailing, nail-you-to-the-wall drum blasts and ass-kicking Marilyn Manson-esque synth-percussion mix that makes this song an absolute mega-ton in the Papa Roach arsenal then I’d also have to advise you to check your pulse, you might be dead. There’s only one word for this song: Epic.
“No Matter What” would be the closest thing to a ballad on the album, though that label would be hanging on by one thin, shrieking-in-pain thread when Papa Roach cranks up the heat on the chorus. It’s a perfect reverse reflection of the other new songs on the album. Whereas they focus primarily on personal preservation; a spit in the face, thick-skinned declaration of victory in Papa Roach’s long standing war of attrition, “No Matter What” is a biting affirmation of fierce loyalty. A psychotic’s love song. Seriously. I can’t get enough of this song.
The fifth and final new recording is “Enemy”, another song of facing down demons, but this track features more of that hard-hitting, arena-rock sound that I love. Horton plays a fat, fast guitar and then weaves in and out of the percussion, giving the entire song a meaty pounding that forces the head to start bobbing. It would take an act of iron will to fight it. This song should have come with a whip-lash warning.
The live performances are out-standing; the audience takes over the role of back-up singers on “Lifeline” and then, on “Forever”, they literally take over the whole show, singing the entire song, their voices raised to the rafters. A moment of pure, hardcore, rock and roll nirvana; it could make even the most devoted shut-in want to rush out to buy a Papa Roach concert ticket.
Jacoby’s opening on “Scars” says everything that needs to be said, about himself, about the band, about the commitment and integrity that is the driving force behind the entity known as Papa Roach, “Everything we do comes from the fucking heart. You know what I’m sayin’? This music; every beat, every lyric, every riff, comes from this motherfuckin’ heart. And these three other hearts. I love these guys.” As I discovered in our interview previously, that kind of talk is a large part of Jacoby’s charm, his motherfuckin’ charm.
A few of the heavier tracks on the live portion of the album (though none could ever be classified as “light”, not by a long shot!) are “To Be Loved”, “Time is Running Out” and the mega-hits “Hollywood Whore” and “Getting Away with Murder”. These four songs find Papa Roach in fine fighting form. The playing is tight. The timing is impeccable. But more than anything it is the relationship with the audience, and between the band members themselves, that is the driving force on these tracks.
Papa Roach wraps up Time For Annihilation with a pile-driving rendition of “Angels and Insects”, followed by “Last Resort”, a fitting end for this album, linking everything back to where it all began. “Last Resort”, the monster, the shadow that Papa Roach once lived under. Needless to say, the crowd loses their minds as soon as they hear the words “Cut my life into pieces…”
Time for Annihilation…On the Record and On the Road also includes a “hidden track”, a message from Jacoby Shaddix in support of WhyHunger. Text it, donate $5. I did. As Jacoby said “33 cents, that’ll put a meal on the table of a homeless shelter.”.
Time for Annihilation…On the Record and On the Road
Jacoby Shaddix – lead vocals
Jerry Horton – lead guitar, backing vocals
Tobin Esperance – bass guitar, backing vocals
Tony Palermo – drums, percussion
David Bendeth – producer
Record Label: Eleven Seven Music
2. One Track Mind
3. Kick In The Teeth
4. No Matter What
5. The Enemy
6. Getting Away With Murder (Live)
7. To Be Loved (Live)
8. Lifeline (Live)
9. Scars (Live)
10. Hollywood Whore (Live)
11. Time Is Running Out (Live)
12. Forever (Live)
13. Between Angels and Insects (Live)
14. Last Resort (Live)