For years we’ve been Getting Away With Murder, Time And Time Again, Between Angels And Insects and of course, defined our Last Resort.
PAPA ROACH were pivotal within the Nu-Metal boom of the early noughties. Whilst some contemporaries vanished into the ether, PAPA ROACH continued delivering album after album and smashing down walls. Whilst the aforementioned tracks were collectively included in their first Greatest Hits release. They’ve now bookmarked the past decade of their musical prowess, selecting tracks from across their past 5 studio albums in Greatest Hits Vol.2 The Better Noise Years.
Diving straight into 2017’s Crooked Teeth, Born For Greatness works well as a Greatest Hits opener. Jacoby Shaddix prominently utilises his rap orientated verse that defined their sound as they broke out as a band. It’s an uplifting track as defined by the chorus “no were not nameless, were not faceless, we were born for greatness!”
Help is another Crooked Teeth track, telling the story of reaching out from drowning within one’s thoughts and feelings. Something that many of us are going through at present and reinforcing that it’s okay not to be okay.
Elevate has a gospel like intro and goes straight into a heavy rap delivery, shifting into a poignant ambiance then features heavily distorted guitars courtesy of Jerry Horton. Showcasing how the band evolved by branching out to a wide array of genres.
Come Around is an outright offering of support to friends and loved ones struggling with mental health “It’s never easy when you’re breaking down, but I’ll be there when you come around.”
Broken As Me features Danny Worsnop of ASKING ALEXANDRIA. Rejuvenating the F.E.A.R. track for this album, giving it an edgier vibe, which works wonders.
Falling Apart is another from the F.E.A.R. album. A blistering track, self-reflective of escaping one’s demons “I stand here again, forsaken in a place that feels like I can never win.”
Who Do You Trust? is the title track from the 2019 album. It showcases all the elements the band have utilised in their existence to date.
Gravity features Maria Brink of IN THIS MOMENT and has a total feel of the band SKILLET. The utilising of Maria Brink gives the additional diversification to bounce vocal exchanges between Jacoby Shaddix and harmonise throughout the chorus.
American Dreams channels the bands earlier sound. It could have easily featured on INFEST or LOVEHATETRAGEDY. Whilst anaphorically capturing their earlier works it still encapsulates how the band have developed over the years.
Face Everything And Rise is a heavy guitar riff based track that utilises the perfect blend of synthetic and dubstep orientated beats. This track is about challenging any obstacle thrown at you and overcoming it.
Periscope featuring Sklyar Grey takes us back to Crooked Teeth and showcases one of the more sensitive tracks on this collection. Telling the story of a relationship you are in might not be reciprocal and the realisation surrounding this.
Still Swingin’ changes pace and takes us back to 2012’s The Connection. It is an opportune headbanging moment and anthemic throughout “we’re just living for today, keep our light on in the haze!”
The Ending went straight to the top of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart and became the bands sixth #1. It is a tale of how a lack of trust in a relationship can turn things sour.
Burn is a straightforward tale of revenge and an outright banger of a track “Your time has come, it’s your turn, I wanna watch you burn!” This is the perfect track that amalgamates the band’s first chapter amidst laying the foundations for their second chapter.
Kick In The Teeth sticks two fingers up at whatever life throws at you and how to overcome it. Reflective of all the bands ups and downs throughout their career and a perfect album closer. Signalling the energy and direction the band have pursued, continuing to do as they please.
The physical CD release also includes 5 additional tracks of which 3 are remixes, an acoustic version of Leader Of The Broken Hearts and a live rendition of Face Everything and Rise. For a collection of Greatest Hits centralising around the most recent decade of the bands career, this release showcases a diverse and eclectic mix of tracks that appeals to both old and new fans alike. PAPA ROACH are still flying their rebellious flag high, sticking a middle finger up at the confines of what you can and cannot do within music. I’m eagerly anticipating the next chapter of the bands story.
Words: Martin White
Greatest Hits Vol. 2 The Better Noise Years is out now.
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