March 19, 2009

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Papa Roach, Metamorphosis
Interscope Records, March 24

It took a couple of spins, but the latest from eyeliner-metal-revivalists Papa Roach does have some merits.

When last I paid them any attention, their “Getting Away with Murder” single had supplanted Rob Zombie’s “More Human Than Human” as the go-to background sound when commercials needed to sell monster trucks, silicon-inflated stripper-thingamajiggy girls or crazy-ass wrestling guys. I’ll have to assume that there were at least half as many “Getting Away” retreads on the band’s 2006 Paramour Sessions LP as there are here (obligato misogynist half-ballad “Hollywood Whore” feeds off the same vocal expressions, and “I Almost Told You That I Love You” is simply “Getting Away” wearing a fake beard). Mind, snobby reviewers don’t expect much from nu-metal dingbats, especially in this case, where the only guitar solo is provided by Motley Crue dingbat Mick Mars, coff coff, but there are actually a couple of ear-sticking winners on this one. Opening song “Change or Die” is all slickness and hard hook, but the real gem is arena-tearjerker “Carry Me,” with its gigantic arpeggio and simple but explosive refrain. Def Leppard gets ghouled up in “Had Enough.” By the by, I think I’ve figured out why nu-metallers don’t do guitar solos: any leather-jacket die-hard would think this was Skid Row, word. AEWS