by Keegan King

I cant help but wonder what a world where Papa Roach got good, solid, weekly therapy would look like. It seems like every song that Jacoby Shaddix writes comes from a place of self-harm and self-hatred, and yet there is an overt and powerful catharsis from their energy and song-writing that a part of me will always appreciate – even as I steadily grow out of the hardcore sound. I will say, after returning to this band 15 years later (yes, you read that right…  the album “Infest” came out in 2002), its really nice to see they’ve put the Rap-Rock sound to pasture… hopefully with a swift, painless bolt-gun shot to the brain stem.

No Country for Old Chainsaws…

So since this is a single, I’ll keep it short and to the point: The new song “Help” is actually, kinda alright. This song was certainly not enough to make me go back and listen to the previous 1 and a half decades of music to see where the change came and its probably not enough to get me to care about the new album. However, credit where credit is due.

The lyrics are repetitive and to the point, I feel like the intention is more to get you looking over their way and less about content. They aren’t saying anything they havent said before, but they are saying it louder and clearer than I would have believed was possible.

The music, however, is where things get really interesting. It transfers from standard hardcore to abrupt acoustic breakdowns at breakneck speed, but it  does so without leaving you feeling whiplash from the transition. Each line and riff flow into each other well and it makes the song easy to listen to multiple times, which is the intention of a single…clearly.

I gotta hand it to Papa Roach, they made a pretty solid recording with this one. I’d say if you are a fan of their buddies Five Finger Death Punch or are feeling nostalgic for the mid-2000s version of hardcore music, this song is a good way to lean into it. However, its not going to convince those of you who are not fans to start paying attention, so maybe sit this one out and wait for something a little more solid to come along.

The Score: 6/10