I’ve decided that there is, indeed, heavenly purpose as to the survival of middling rock bands: strip clubs need music.
For whatever reason, the presence of deafening riff-heavy guitars, bad singers, and a slapdash mixture of awful ballads and catchy upbeat songs fit the bill perfectly. Those plastic high heels, cheap drinks, dim lights, and bizarre smells go hand-in-hand with the music of Nickelback, Saliva, Hinder, Staind, and anything Scott Stapp’s ever touched.
With Metamorphosis, Papa Roach attempts to enter the pink thong-droppin' shindig.
Now before we go getting into a late night parking lot fracas over this, let me explain that strip club music isn’t all bad. There’s nothing wrong with obnoxious, careless rock music. It’s fun, for starters, and bands like AC/DC and Motley Crue have been making careers out of it without any apologies.
Papa Roach once represented, at least in some measure, the voice of tormented youth. I remember seeing the video for rapcore anthem “Last Resort” and marveling at how these guys got so many kids to “wish somebody would tell them they’re fine” even though nothing was. Amazingly, the song and the band had captured the attitude of the 2000 teen. Bands like Linkin Park would walk similar ground, but everybody’s gotta evolve eventually, right?
In many ways, Papa Roach is doing the same thing they’ve always done. With no clear theme or true sense of direction, Metamorphosis seems like a gathering of songs tossed together at the last minute. The record begins with an attempted call to action (“Change or Die”) but proceeds to demonstrate the four-piece refusing to heed their own instruction.
Sure, there are moments of bawdy amusement dead-certain to feature on many an Amateur Night. “I Almost Told You That I Loved You” may roll like a Buckcherry rip-off, but it’s the most fun song on the record. Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix squeals some fucking ridiculous lyrics with snarling glee and the chorus is catchy and enjoyable.