Sunday 26 April 2020

20 years of Papa Roach - My Top 10

Papa Roach!

Papa Fuckin' Roach!

Summer 2000, I was 16, and heavy metal was the only thing I cared about. I lived in Germany, where metal was huge. We had UK Satellite TV and I would tape music videos off MTV2 and Kerrang and then watch them over and over again. The only 2 videos I can 100% confirm were on that tape? 'Last Resort' and 'Between Angels and Insects' by Papa Roach. I had a CD wallet that I would carry around in my school bag, the first CD in that wallet? 'Infest' by Papa Roach. I got a white pair of Adidas Superstar trainers, because that's what Jacoby from Papa Roach had on in their videos. When I saw Fight Club for the first time, I remember saying "cool, this film has Papa Roach lyrics", it never occurred to me that it was the other way around. Safe to say, I was a huge fan. Why wouldn't I be? They took Nu-Metal and they perfected it!

Saturday the 25th of April 2020, and we are in a global lockdown. Things are completely different, I'm 36 now, I have a job (I think) and a wife, and I don't sit in skate parks, I don't live in Germany, I don't tape music videos off MTV2, I don't even know if MTV2 is still a thing, I don't have a CD wallet, but you know what? I still love that album. I had a listen yesterday, and the memories came flooding back, the day 'Infest' by Papa Roach turned 20.

So what do they mean to me today, as a grown up? I've seen them live twice, Blood Brothers is my ring tone, they find themselves on nearly every car playlist I make, and my best friend, Kris, insists on requesting 'Broken Home' every time there is a DJ playing rock music, and every time, we dance our asses off. So what do they mean to me today? Exactly the same! 

Here are my Top 10 Papa Roach songs from their amazing 20 year career. Join me in saying Happy Birthday to one of the coolest bands that ever graced our eardrums.

10. Renegade Music
A return to the raw, aggressive, Papa Roach energy, later in the band's career.

9. ...To Be Loved
Fast, fun, and the first Papa Roach song to be used as the theme tune for Raw.

8. Time And Time Again
The second single from their second album, a belter.

7.  I Almost Told You That I Loved You
The best song from Metamorphosis, and proof that the band could adapt and change with the times, they didn't need to keep rapping (although I wish they would).

6. Face Everything And Rise
The title track off the F.E.A.R album, probably Papa Roach's most grown up work.

5.  Broken Home
It's raw, it's real, the subject isn't nice but the song bloody kicks ass. And I dance to it every time I'm out with my boy!

4. Between Angels and Insects'
The second single, great video, great tune. Did you know they used some of the lyrics in Fight Club?

3. Scars
Probably the most iconic Papa Roach song apart from "that one", and rightly so, an absolute epic.

2. She Loves Me Not
This is a beast. It's always hard to follow a great first album, not many bands can do it. Throw out a tune like this and you're safe.

1. Last Resort
"That one", the obvious number one. The rock night dance floor filler for 20 glorious years. I've heard this in indie clubs, metal clubs, rap clubs, it's iconic, it's catchy, and it's never going anywhere.

Happy Birthday Papa Roach. I love you!

Friday 24 April 2020

Stop what you're doing and listen to 'Love & Error' by Chapter and Verse

It's so exciting to catch bands when they are on the brink of something really special.

When you find a great band playing in a pub, or a small venue in front of 20 people, you follow them on Instagram and join them on their long journey.
Or, on the flip side, you get into a band after their first mega hit single comes out and they are on the radio, and you see them in a club or bigger venue with a great atmosphere.
Some people get into bands well into their career, and see them at festivals with fireworks and stage shows.
The point is, there is no bad time to get into a band.

...but there is a best time to get into a band.

For Chapter & Verse, that time is now.

We had the pleasure of seeing the UK 5-piece supporting ALOMR favourites, Poets Of The Fall in December 2019.
We arrived part way through their first or second song, and immediately got caught up in the catchy pop-rock exposition. While not blown away, they definitely left something in me, as the following day I added songs from their first EP 'Glow' to various playlists. As I expected, I grew to really like them.

Then, they kept adding other songs, and they kept getting better. At the end of January they dropped 'Sweet Time', and that did blow me away! This is it!

Their second EP is a collection of 5 songs, and it's their best work to date. This is the edge they needed! These are their top 5 songs! I don't like them any more, I love them.

The EP gets your heart racing from the get-go with opening track 'Bad Blood'. Check out the video:

Straight to business, then, with a super catchy, quick and fun banger which sticks it's middle finger up to toxic relationships and broken hearts.

Track 2, 'Beauty Sleep' and another song about past relationships and forgotten love. Another belter that will have you longing to get out there and dance. So how cruel of Chapter & Verse to release this in the middle of a global lockdown. Let's not dwell on the nastiness outside. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant that the band can't perform launch parties, or travel up and down the country playing the songs to new audiences and growing their fan base. The silver lining, is of course we all have more free time, and I urge you to spend some of it listening to these guys.

The third song is the first of the 2 I hadn't heard previously. With 'Always' we are in a more indie territory. The passion really shines through at this epic midpoint, and the feeling and anguish is clear as day in singer Josh's most sentimental display.

Here we go. Track 4, and my favourite Chapter and Verse song. 'Sweet Time' is just brilliant. A quick exhale and we are straight into a quick drumbeat and vocals from the start. Poppy verses are interrupted by a surprisingly heavy chorus, with chuggy guitars and the catchiness of a summer anthem that deserves to have festival crowds bouncing. Phenomenal track that I, for one, will be listening to for months. Mint! It's got a bloody guitar solo too!

How do you follow that? 'Where We've Been' closes the collection. A slower pace, the closing credits on this twisty ride through anger, heartache, picking yourself up and starting again. The theme is a new beginning in love, putting the past behind you and looking towards the future, and it runs alongside the story of this band who may have just turned the corner to something really special.

I certainly hope so, and I can't wait to see these guys again live soon.

Love & Error is out now, go check it out, it really is worth it. A solid display of talent, and a finger on the pulse of alternative music in 2020, a middle finger that is!

Chapter and Verse are:
Josh Carter - Vocals
Darren Gosling - Guitar
Jonny Hopwood - Bass
Ash Morton - Guitar
Kevin Miller - Drums

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