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Papa Roach

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RS: 3of 5 Stars

2000

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The title song of Papa Roach's major-label debut is nothing but neck-snapping rap-rock thrash and a chorus of insidiously catchy police-siren guitars. It's the most anthemic, tunefully paranoid and furious song that Rage Against the Machine never wrote. Singer Coby Dick's hip-hop holler and guitarist Jerry Horton's pile-driver riffs go beyond derivative -- they are to Rage as the young Stone Temple Pilots were to Pearl Jam. But Papa Roach improve upon the original with songs that are more hummable than most fast-food jingles. The band's roiling rhythms, barbed riffs and kick-drum-splitting beats take rap rock back to its roots in New York hardcore punk and D.C. Dischord bands like Fugazi. Dick replaces Zack de la Rocha's Commies-are-cool lyrics with words that walk a thin line between deep and dumb but always sound like a page from some pissed-off high school kid's journal (an example from "Between Angels and Insects": " 'Cause everything is nothing/And emptiness is in everything/This reality is really just a fucked-up dream"). Rock lyrics are all too rarely this direct and fearless. Papa Roach might be a Rage knockoff, but they don't skimp on the realness.

PAT BLASHILL

(Posted: Jul 6, 2000)

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