Papa Roach and Linkin Park have dominated the Nu-Metal scene since the turn of the century. Last Resort, Crawling, One Step Closer, Numb, Scars, Broken Home, and The Catalyst….are songs that defined the genre’s sound. So with eager anticipation both Papa Roach and Linkin Park have just released two new singles in anticipation of the upcoming new albums. Now I will admit to being heavily biased in Linkin Park’s favor. After seeing the band during this initial Hybrid Theory tour, I’ve seen Linkin Park at every U.S. tour that made its way to Florida. So it comes with extreme disappointment to declare that based on the lead singles to their upcoming albums, Papa Roach has surpassed Linkin Park as the more exciting and relevant band in 2017.
“HELP” and “CROOKED TEETH” – PAPA ROACH
“HEAVY” – LINKIN PARK
Let’s start with the obvious observation first, both bands are not content to rest on their laurels and put out a carbon copy release of their signature style. Both Papa Roach and Linkin Park have mixed some electronica into their latest singles. The difference is Papa Roach haven’t sold out their fan base and turned their sound into a caricature of their former glory. Jacoby Shaddix still gets to add a little growl on “Help” and an aggressive guitar riff dominates the track. Is it the best Papa Roach is recent years? I won’t go there but it blows away Linkin Park’s new single “Heavy”. A second single “Crooked Teeth” is an in-your-face explicit track that should rejuvenate anyone doubting if Papa Roach can still rock a decade and a half after they debuted.
At first listen to “Heavy”, you truly have to question if it’s either fake or possibly a Chainsmokers remix? This can’t be Linkin Park, right? Adding a female singer is a nice touch but shouldn’t it be someone like Amy Lee of Evanescence or Lzzy Hale? Kiiara joined the band for a “Burn It Down” remix a few years back. But Kiiara’s voice sound more fitting for the upcoming sequel to Disney’s “Frozen” than a Nu-Metal band. Rumors exist that Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) gave the thumbs-up to “Heavy” to Chester Bennington, but he’d be in the minority here as other long-time Linkin Park fans are in an uproar of this potential sellout of their longtime favorite band. Here’s hoping that the final upcoming LP won’t mimic this style and this was a one-off track that we can laugh off as simply an experiment gone wrong.