Papa Roach - Naked And Fearless (Interscope/DCG)

Aaron Bliss | Sunday, 28 June 2009

Papa Roach - Naked And Fearless (Interscope/DCG)

For a band who were shot into the mainstream on the crest of a nu-metal wave, on the back of a crass single about depression, Papa Roach have done pretty well to reinvent themselves over the last five years.

Their new glam-sleaze direction has borne fruit and credibility, and their recent outing at Download proved that the band are made for the big time. In the spirit of altering perceptions, the band has released this 3-track EP of acoustic numbers, hence the title.

The opener is an acoustic version of their latest single; the power-ballad 'Lifeline'. Yes, it's a bit trite, but the stripped down instrumentation lends itself well to this track, although the drums are a little meaty for an acoustic session.

Unfortunately they get even more pounding on 'Had Enough', a well-meaning track about the consequences of war. Jacoby Shaddix's lyricism is very straightforward, with no room for symbolism or irony, but this adds to the charm of his melancholy ballads.

The final track really delivers, with a minimal drum pattern and an epic feel to the piece. 'Carry Me' saves the band from treading water, containing more ambition than the previous two muster together, while quirky lyrics about having 'horns to hold up my halo' do not go awry.

Overall, the listener is left with mixed impressions. Shaddix's vocal range is not strong, but his passion marks this out as something worthy. From the image-savvy purveyors of plastic rebellion, Papa Roach have grown up before our eyes.

Rating: 4/5

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