REVIEW: "Who Do You Trust?" By Papa Roach (Hard Rock)
Hard Rock, Electronic Rock/Eleven Seven Music/Released Jan 18, 2019
It’s nothing short of impressive how Papa Roach has managed to not only survive this long but also stay relevant in the mainstream. They’ve managed this by blending modern electronic and pop influences into the rap rock and hard rock of their origins. Simultaneously retaining old school fans while courting new ones. Who Do You Trust? continues that trend to make for another solid record in their discography.
Previous record Crooked Teeth leaned a little too hard on big sing-along style choruses and straightforward hard rock, marring it with a sense of sameness for many tracks. Who Do You Trust? rectifies that with a lot more diversity in the songwriting as well as instrumentation. Refocusing on the guitar/electronics balance shown on F.E.A.R. and The Connection. While also venturing deeper into the modern alt rock/pop sound they’ve been dabbling in. Tracks like “Elevate” and “Maniac” exemplify this electronic focus while keeping solid songwriting in tact despite the lack of guitar.
While finding diversity in their pop rock influences, the band has dropped much of their aggressive side for this record. “Renegade Music” is one the few aggressive hard rock tracks to be found and walks the line of the electronic rock of their current material and the anthem rock of their mid-2000’s material. “I Suffer Well” is an outlier compared to the whole record. A high energy, 80 second punk track that’s the most stripped down the band has sounded in years.
While Who Do You Trust? won’t convert many newbies to the Papa Roach camp, current fans will find plenty to like as the band has tightened up their modern sound to a higher quality. While this is the least “rock and roll” the band has ever sounded, the music is still quality by mainstream rock standards. Finding a happy hybrid between the guitar rock of old and electronic focused rock of new.