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Going GreyGOING GREY finds The Front Bottoms embracing the impermanence of life and finding flexibility in the face of change. Having relocated band headquarters to the coastal New Jersey community of Asbury Park during the demoing stages of the album, GOING GREY sees the band acknowledging the nostalgia of simpler times with admiration while welcoming the inevitable unknowns of life.1. You Used To Say (Holy Fuck)
2. Peace Sign
4. Vacation Town
5. Don't Fill Up On Chips
6. Grand Finale
9. Far Drive
10. Everyone But You
11. Ocean$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Grey OceansCocoRosie are two American-born sisters, Sierra and Bianca, who started making music together in Paris in 2003. Their first album, La Maison de Mon Reve, was released in 2004 and their second album, Noah's Ark, followed in 2005. Their third and most recent album, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, came out in 2007. All three of these albums were released worldwide on Touch and Go Records and earned critical acclaim both overseas and at home. The nomadic duo (currently and temporarily residing in New Mexico) spent much of 2008 writing and recording in Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Berlin, New York, and Paris, finding amazing and diverse musicians to collaborate along the way. The result is their 11-song Sub Pop debut, Grey Oceans.1. Trinity's Crying
2. Smokey Taboo
5. Grey Oceans
6. R.I.P. Burn Face
7. The Moon Asked the Crow
10. Fairy Paradise
11. Here I Come$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Horns & HalosHorns And Halos' - mixed by Petri Majuri at Seawolf Studios, Finland - is the follow-up to 2011's critically-acclaimed 'Sensory Overdrive', winner of Classic Rock Magazine's 'Album Of The Year' and a No. 1 record in MM's Finnish homeland.
It's been a while since that brilliant piece of work that was Sensory Overdrive, just enough time for a job well done. No need to rush, especially when you have to re-adjust to song writing minus Ginger Wildheart.
So it happens that the irresistible poptastic element loses out a little bit to darker shades here and there, like on the rather unexpected 'Ritual' or 'Stained Glass Heart'; yet our blonde energy powerhouse doesn't fail to throw in unforgettable hooks - see 'Child Of The Revolution' or rock party anthem 'Saturday Night Special' - sure to get the crowd going on the next round of live shows.
The opening 'TNT Diet' breaks in raw and unmerciful, followed by the memories of an unforgotten NY past in single 'Ballad of the Lower East Side'. There's a touch of classic/bluesy, even a hint of prog in 'Eighteen Angels', then it's strokes of bright colours and grey shades on the familiar coarse canvas that is Michael's voice. The unmistakeable soundscape courtesy of Sami Yaffa, Steve Conte, Dregen and Karl Rosqvist ensures continuity despite sparks of unusual - let 'Soul Surrender' surprise you - leaving fans happy yet never bored.
It's not 'Sensory Overdrive', but 'Horns and Halos' was definitely worth the wait. No album, doesn't matter how good, should ever be written twice as long as you have any music left in you; Michael Monroe, luckily, still has a lot left to offer.
- Cristina Massei (Sonic Shocks)1. TNT Diet
2. Ballad Of The Lower East Side
3. Eighteen Angels
4. Saturday Night Special
5. Stained Glass Heart
6. Horns And Halos
7. Child Of The Revolution
8. Soul Surrender
9. Half The Way
11. Hands Are Tied$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ShadowsFrom the Press Release:I felt very free going into making this album. It was a solo mission, on my terms, my time, my choices, says Lenka. Previously my music was focused on being uplifting and energizing. For this album, I shifted to create a lullaby soundtrack for myself, my child and everyone out there. I have always loved albums that one can fall asleep to; an experience I enjoyed a lot growing up. Those songs drift into your unconscious like no others.
Tracks like Nothing Here But Love, an unbridled paean to the power of love, and After the Winter, a celebration of spring and the hope it holds that features Tracy Bonham on violin, offer a welcome respite from a rattled world. Two Heartbeats is an ethereal slice of life written from the perspective of an unborn child (and features the in utero heartbeat of Lenka's son)
The album has is soothing moments, to be sure, but Shadows also grapples head-on with separation (Faster With You), loss (the heartbreaking Nothing) and the fears that keep young and old awake at night (Monsters). The Shadows are imprints and remnants of the big life stuff happening to me right now, she explains. I have been reflecting a lot as things change around me. Birth, death, love, regrets, innocence, dreams, independence, connection.
Lenka plays a variety of instruments throughout, including keyboards, wurli, glockenspiel and vibraphone, and recorded the album in New York, Montreal, Toronto and her hometown of Sydney.
In Australia, Lenka reunited with Tom Schutzinger, whom she had originally worked with when both were members of acclaimed Australian electronic/ambient band Decoder Ring. Schutzinger produced No Harm Tonight as well as Heart To The Party, a track he and Lenka co-wrote.
After leaving Decoder Ring and moving to the States, Lenka released her self-titled debut album in 2008. It entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart at #3 and contained The Show, a No. 1 single at radio in three countries that has had a very long life. It was the pivotal song in the 2011 film Moneyball and Billy Crystal sang The Show during his opening monologue for the 2012 Oscars. The Show has also been heard in promotional spots for Ugly Betty, Old Navy, Coca-Cola, Apple and Crate & Barrel commercials, and on Dancing With The Stars and Grey's Anatomy.1. Nothing Here But Love
2. Faster With You
3. Heart To The Party
4. After the Winter
5. Find A Way to You
7. No Harm Tonight
8. Two Heartbeats
11. The Top Of Memory Lane$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Attack & Release (Out Of Stock)Until now, guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney of the Black Keys took an extreme do-it-yourself approach to record making, hunkering down in a basement studio or setting up equipment in one of the abandoned factories of their native Akron, Ohio. Their modus operandi was more seance than session. With a minimal set of tools, they conjured up a big, swaggering blues-rock sound, seemingly drawn from some distant time and place yet too weirdly original to ever be called retro. As Rolling Stone put it in a review of their 2006 Nonesuch debut, Magic Potion, Pure blues rock of this caliber is really timeless.
For this album, however, the Black Keys decided not to go it alone: Attack and Release is the result of one of the most audacious and eagerly awaited collaborations in alternative rock history. As producer, Auerbach and Carney chose Danger Mouse, the mega-eclectic sonic mastermind behind the Grammy Award-winning Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere and its multi-format hit, Crazy, as well as the music-industry provocateur who created the mother of all mash-ups, The Grey Album. The Black Keys also deigned to work at an established studio, albeit one within driving distance of Akron. Suma Recording, a legendary spot in northeast Ohio renowned for its supply of great vintage gear, provided just the right ambience for the guys. As Carney put it, with genuine affection, Suma smells like a moldy cabin and looks like a haunted house.
On Attack and Release, Danger Mouse is more creative co-conspirator than traditional figure behind the boards. He doesn't radically alter the duo's sound so much as coax out more of its inherent soulfulness, groove and bittersweet emotion. Two versions of Remember When illustrate how the duo can swing easily from smoldering ballad to thrashing rocker. I'm more pleased with the sound of this record than any one we've ever made, says Carney, and Auerbach concurs: We never let it all go like we did for this one, anything was game. It was just fun to make, and that's why I think it's so successful. The band adds more instrumentation to their mix, including piano, organ and moog synthesizer. Danger Mouse fashions subtle special effects, like the ghostly background choir that surfaces on the moody I Got Mine, which sounds as if it were samples from some old Warner Bros. cartoon. The Black Keys also invited in a few special guests: guitarist Marc Ribot and clarinetist-flautist (and Pat's uncle) Ralph Carney, both veterans of Tom Waits' band and players on countless avant-rock/jazz/noise session. Jessica Lea Mayfield a/k/a Chittlin, an impressive 18 year-old bluegrass/country singer from Kent, Ohio, sings alongside a heart-breakingly plaintive Auerbauch on the slow-dance final cut, Things Ain't Like They Used to Be1. All You Ever Wanted
2. I Got Mine
3. Strange Times
4. Psychotic Girl
6. Remember When (Side A)
7. Remember When (Side B)
8. Same Old Thing
9. So He Won't Break
10. Oceans & Streams
11. Things Ain't Like They Used to Be$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Onward And SidewaysCleveland born, songwriter/performer Joshua Radin has earned a loyal following for his wistful meditations and hit songs. His rootsy-pop track, "I'd Rather Be With You" from Simple Times topped the iTunes album chart at #1 and hit 'top 10' in ten different countries. The hushed, emotionally raw "Winter" and Closer from his 2006 album, We Were Here received a four-star review in Rolling Stone Magazine. Radin's compositions have a proven track record having been sound-tracked on shows like Grey's Anatomy, American Idol and House. His songs have been used more than 100 times in various films and television shows making him a 'behind the scenes' artist whose music is heard most everywhere.
In 2008, Ellen DeGeneres asked Joshua to perform at her wedding. Radin said, "I played six of my songs and Ellen and Portia just sat right in front of me looking at each other, crying, and looking at me. I actually teared up a little-that's never happened to me before."
Live performances have always been Radin's lifeblood. After stints as a screenwriter in New York and as an inner-city art teacher in Chicago, he moved to Southern California to test the waters as a musician. "More than drawing, I taught those kids in Chicago a general perspective of the world-looking at something and not being overwhelmed. And it's how I've always looked at life," he says. "I've always wanted to wake up every day and have the opportunity to be creative, to express what's going on in my head and heart, and to be able to connect with the world in that way. I may have started playing music later in life than my peers, but I love living with the idea that it's never too late."
When his father gave him a guitar on a whim for his birthday, Radin taught himself how to play. Soon after, in 2004, he wrote his first song, "Winter," about a fractured relationship with his longtime girlfriend. The song so moved his college friend Zach Braff, that the actor passed it along to a producer on his TV show, Scrubs. Three weeks later, it was played on the show. Buzz from the Scrubs show was fast and furious, crashing the NBC site and winning Radin thousands of new fans. Afterward, he worked hard to build a grassroots movement on social-media sites and continued to build his fan base.
For various albums, Radin has recruited 'dream teams' of musicians to enhance his sounds. Among them: pianist Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), drummer Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, John Lennon), and string arranger Jimmie Haskell (Simon and Garfunkel). Joshua has sold over two and a half million singles and over 700,000 full-length albums.
In 2015, Radin releases his sixth studio album, "Onward and Sideways." His first single, "Beautiful Day" features a duet with American, singer songwriter Sheryl Crow.1. We'll Keep Running Forever
3. Beautiful Day (feat. Sheryl Crow)
5. In Your Hands
6. Let Our Sun Shine Down
7. Another Beginning
8. Blow Away
9. Away We Go
10. Worlds Apart
11. One and Only
12. Old Friend
13. My Baby$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Violent Sleep Of ReasonPressed On Grey / Black Splatter
Limited To 1000 Copies
The Violent Sleep of Reason, the band's eighth full-length studio album, finds MESHUGGAH building upon their legacy for fearless metal sculpting within the context of extreme metal, but also recapturing some of the magic and excitement specifically within the aspect of performance, finding flow and groove that would be a challenge for any lesser band to locate, given such technical geometric madness at mischievous hand.
"There's a distinct methodology", says drummer, writer and spokesman for the band Tomas Haake, that was put into motion to help the band achieve the level of "intensity" the attentive fan will feel as he/she makes their way through The Violent Sleep of Reason.
For this one, it's all live takes, with either 3 or 4 of the band members recording their respective instruments simultaneously - which is a way of recording they haven't used in many years. And that definitely goes against the stream of what you see in most technical metal nowadays, where editing, drum programming, the use of "beat detectives" etc. is a way more common approach to recording. So on this one, MESHUGGAH went back towards a more old-school approach, properly rehearsing the songs as a whole band before going into studio to record them. Jens was in one room, guitarists were in one room, bass player Dick was sitting right next to the drum set with an amplifier/cab in the next room. So in that sense this is more "old school"; the methodology is in that sense more like what bands were doing in the '80s and 90s. "And that vibrancy comes out", says Haake; "it's a very audible difference, sloppier sounding if you will, but at the same time it brings a different energy than the last few albums - this is "less perfect", but in that sense, also more alive."
The personal challenge taken on by the band produced fortunate byproducts as well, or, rather, it inspired them to "de-machine" other aspects of the technical MESHUGGAH juggernaut.
"Yes, for this one we also changed our approach toward the guitar recording/sounds," explains Haake, who nonetheless confirms that the band is still using eight-string axes, and for the most part, tuning down half a step to achieve that torrid MESHUGGAH guitar grunt. "The last few albums have been mostly digital, guitar sounds-wise, using all digital guitar gear as opposed to analog tube amps and regular cabs. The upside of using all digital like we did previous, is you can re-amp it afterwards, as it's basically a clean signal so you can pick, choose, and tweak things at a later point. But with this album, it was six speakers, all separately miked in one (super-loud) room, each cabinet with a different head -Marshall, Orange, Mesa Boogie etc-and then mixing it up a little bit depending on the song. If there was a song that was a little slower and sludgier, we might add more of the Orange amp to get a tad more of that stoner sound. And if it's a bit more metal, we'd maybe use the Marshall head or the Mesa head a little more in the mix. So we did have the opportunity, to mix and match for each song so the guitar sound is not exactly the same for every song. And that's a difference from Koloss and obZen, for example, where pretty much every song had the same drum and guitar sound."
But the end result is still a relentless onslaught of MESHUGGAH -patented ideas, save for one gorgeous and atmospheric respite, at the close of "Stifled."
Framing the pacing and contours of record, Tomas says, "None of the songs stick out quite like, for example, the way "Bleed" did on obZen. To me, it doesn't really have hits-it just has really cool songs! Not that we ever really had "hits" though (laughs). They're just maybe a little "wilder" sounding on this album, much due also to the live recording approach. Dick and I wrote about half of the material, and the rest was either me and Mårten working together or Mårten writing on his own. We were kind of going for something nuts as is the case with all our writing/recording albums - We wanted to hear something that we hadn't heard ourselves do before." Fredrik was not part of the songwriting for this one, as he's been hard at work on his next solo album, but as always he was still very involved with every aspect of the recording, from recording rhythm guitars, guitar solos etc . "And that's also a completely new thing," continues Tomas. "Dick was never involved in the songwriting prior to this album, whereas Fredrik always was. And that, of course, creates a difference in the way the album as a whole came out."
At the lyrical end, highlights include the title track, which, set to a massively heavy arch-djent rhythm, speaks of "the violent outcome of not dealing with what is going on, the violent implications of being asleep. "The title is actually inspired by a Goya painting called 'The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.'"
A second highlight is strident opener and longest song on the album, "Clockworks," which is strafed by a typically super-human drum performance from Haake. "That's more about looking to yourself and who you are and things you want to change about yourself. And then in the context of how your mind works, as a clockwork. It's the idea of taking out all the little pins, wheels, and springs and kind of rebuilding it to make you function in a different fashion. So lyrics for that song is a look in on self, at things that you wish that you could change about yourself."
Listen to tracks like the vertigo-inducing "Nostrum" and the slower if equally circular and note-dense "By the Ton," and it's easy to understand why it's been four years since a MESHUGGAH album. But mind-numbing complexity of the material is not the only reason, explains Haake.
"No, well, I would say first of all, it takes us a lot of time to write. And we're very bad at focusing; we're very bad at multitasking. I don't think we ever wrote one single riff on a tour bus or in a hotel room. So if you have a touring cycle of two, two-and-a-half, three years, there's not going to be anything written in that time period. And that's just how we all function. We need to have a break, like, okay, time out now-nothing else for a year. We need to write for one year. But you also want to tour as much as possible for an album. Koloss, for example, we toured for like two-and-a-half years. And then you write. And when we do finally write, we scrutinize those songs, riffs, structures over and over and over, and change things as we go. So in a lot of the songs, maybe only one riff was actually there originally. So writing for us does take a long time, no doubt."
As a result, the band's erudite and intelligent fan base "get something that they don't really hear in any other bands". On the first album you still hear a lot of Metallica and Anthrax and Bay Area kind of thrash metal influence. "We knew that we sounded a bit like that, but we were aiming for something we hadn't heard in any other band. And that's still the main fuel. We're not trying to write your average metal song. We're not trying to write catchy songs. We're not trying to write hit songs (laughs). We're just trying to write something that is cool, that we haven't heard before, and hopefully our fans haven't heard before. And that also gets harder and harder though, because by now, there are so many awesome musicians and bands and so much great music out there. But it would seem like the followers that we do have, the people that have kept buying our albums and stayed with us for a lot of years, are not necessarily the typical metal fans. The crowd we have is diverse. We have a lot of geeks and nerds and weirdos, and they are beautiful ones, you know? We have a lot of people with talent, and a lot of people that are also interested in music as art, and not just an event."
But it's not lost on Tomas that MESHUGGAH is making daunting progressive music, music where melody is subservient to jackhammer rhythm, as evidenced by the way that even his lead singer, Jens Kidman, is situated within the maelstrom that is MESHUGGAH
"He's the perfect tool for the job. Just like most people, we all, of course, like music where there's "proper singing", and we all love a great singer. Personally, I think the voice is the most empathic instrument. You hear someone sing and you're like, oh my God, that's the coolest instrument in the world. But at the same time, what we're trying to do is not that. Just like the guitars and me as a drummer, Jens also is a rhythmic tool, one that adds aggression, as well as words to back up that aggression if you will."
So would Tomas then acquiesce to the idea of MESHUGGAH as metal's reigning enemies of melody?
"In a sense, yeah. I mean, there is definitely melody and a lot of melodic thought put into tonalities, harmonies between bass and guitars and things like that, but at the same time, we're not often going for anything pretty. Sometimes there's a little bit, where we go, 'Awww, that's beautiful," but then we usually immediately mess it up again. You give it a little bit of something "nice" sometimes, but basically we're not going for niceness (laughs)."
Produced by Meshuggah; engineered by Tue Madsen, Puk Studios, Kaerby, Denmark.1. Clockworks
2. Born In Dissonance
4. By The Ton
5. Violent Sleep Of Reason
6. Ivory Tower
9. Our Rage Won't Die
10. Into Decay$27.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
I Know What Love Isn'tTracey Thorn wrote a song that reached Jens Lekman in the early stages of his new album, I Know What Love Isn't. In her song she sang Oh Jens, oh Jens/your songs seem to look through a different lens/you're still so young, love ends just as easy as it's begun. A touching moment for the Swedish songwriter, having been a fan since his teens. But it came to him in a time when he found himself very confused and in doubt. He was changing and, subsequently, so were his songs. They weren't looking through that lens anymore.
I Know What Love Isn't came out of a break up, something Jens didn't see as worth writing about at first. The songs began more fleeting than the last go around, on his 2007 album Night Falls Over Kortedala. The songs began building from images and memories and soon began to take their own route, one that Lekman wasn't privy to their destination.
In The World Moves On he paints a picture of a sweltering summer in the city of Melbourne where he lived while writing and recording the album. The hot days that led up to the Black Saturday bushfires, but also more mundane images of feeding possums in a park or getting in trouble with some guy on a scooter. It seems to lead nowhere at first but the aimlessness in itself reaches heartbreaking conclusions later on, summed up by the soaring chorus and you don't get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully. Like Joan Didion once said that she writes entirely to find out what she's thinking, Jens wrote until he caught up with his thoughts. And of course they led him right back to the break up.
Musically, I Know What Love Isn't chooses an economic route. From the vast palette he created for Kortedala, he's only chosen a few somber colors this time around. There are strings but not a string section, an upright piano and not a grand, a single saxophone and gracenotes from a flute. The songs are lighter, almost aerodynamic, Jens explains, I wanted the songs to take off almost unnoticeably, where the chorus is separated from the verse only through a small detail like a tambourine or a harmony. Like when you're in an airplane taking off and you look out the window and realize you're already in the air.
A dry country piano makes Become Someone Else's lift high. Vocals from Melbourne singer Sophie Brous makes the chorus in Erica America soar. Strings pick up the title track and send it up to the sky without much effort or force. In the latter, Lekman once again points the way to distill essential truths from every day life vignettes while singing about a sham marriage. I thought of the Friday nights when I'd be cruising up and down the street with my best friend in her old crappy Holden, talking about getting married to get me into the country.
The idea was so appealing, that we would build this constructed relationship around a purpose rather than some vague feeling that could change at anytime. But in the end, the sham marriage is much too great a story to be kept secret. At least when you make a living from telling stories. And that's what I Know What Love Isn't is. A collection of songs that grew to a story that had to be told. A story that is not new, but essentially human. The story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.1. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
2. Erica America
3. Become Someone Else's
4. She Just Don't Want To Be With You Anymore
5. Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder
6. I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots
7. The World Moves On
8. The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love
9. I Know What Love Isn't
10. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Black/Grey Swirl Vinyl 2xLP
Limited to 1,000
The time has come. After the longest wait between Demon Hunter records ever, we are proud to announce our brand new studio album, "Outlive." The last 3 years have been an absolute whirlwind. We've welcomed 5 (!) children into the Demon Hunter family, endured heartbreaking trials, and experienced joy beyond comprehension. "Outlive" is a culmination of these peaks and valleys. It is a journey through adversity, survival, and overcoming the odds. They say the best stories are told by those who have lived a life worth commenting on, and we believe that our stories will resonate with each of you in some way.
The relationship we share with you has always been uniquely special. You've come to expect a high level of quality from us and we intend to honor that promise. We've been working for months assembling every piece of the album and its presentation with dedicated attention to detail. The new album is scheduled for a 2017 release and we are going to make the journey from here to there as thrilling as possible. We are simply beyond excited to share every aspect of Demon Hunter's eighth chapter, "Outlive," with all of you. Prepare yourselves and join us.
-Ryan Clark & Demon Hunter1. Trying Times
2. Jesus Wept
3. Cold Winter Sun
4. Died In My Sleep
5. Half As Dead
6. Cold Blood
7. One Step Behind
8. Raining Down
9. The End
10. One Less
12. Slight the Odds$27.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Crooked TeethPapa Roach has never taken the easy way out and they aren't going to start now. Over the past two decades the group have established themselves as true trendsetters in heavy music: They've been nominated for two Grammys, toured the globe with everyone from Eminem to Marilyn Manson and crafted the nÜ metal anthem "Last Resort," which is still in heavy rotation on rock radio seventeen years after its release. However, the group's tenth full-length Crooked Teeth sees the band returning to their humble-and hungry-roots. The album was recorded in a cramped West Hollywood studio with up-and-coming producers Nicholas "RAS" Furlong and Colin Brittain, who grew up listening to Papa Roach and inspired them to revisit some of the traits that personally endeared the band to them, most notably frontman Jacoby Shaddix's remarkable rapping technique.
"We've always kind of considered ourselves to be the bastard cousins of everything we've every been involved with so we wanted to be true to that and switch things up this time around," Shaddix says. "The first time we met up with RAS and Colin, they said that [2000's] Infest was on constant rotation when they were growing up and they wanted to bring back some of that fire." The connection between the artists and producers was immediate and the first song Papa Roach-which also features guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo-came up with for Crooked Teeth was "My Medication," an instantly catchy banger that sees Shaddix spitting verses in between massive choruses and ambient accents. "I really felt like we had a personal connection and the music was just there waiting to be written and once we nailed that song things really clicked and we knew exactly what we had to do" Furlong explains. "We really followed our instincts and tried something unproven with this record and because of that we ended up with a bold, courageous and more adventurous version of Papa Roach." It was in this studio that "old school" Papa Roach ways, morphed to create this "new school" Papa Roach sound.
From the instantly infectious nature of the title track to the atmospheric sheen of the ballad "Periscope" (which features Skylar Grey) and the hip-hop rock mashup "Sunrise Trailer Park" (which features an impassioned verse from Machine Gun Kelly). Crooked Teeth displays the various sides of Papa Roach and illustrates why they've managed to remain relevant while musical trends ebb and flow. "We didn't go into this album with the intention of trying to write radio singles," Horton explains. "The collection of songs was really about bookending everything that we've done prior to this album and reintroducing Papa Roach to people who didn't realize the depth that we have," says Palermo. "The whole idea was to take the classic elements of Papa Roach that everyone loved and revamp them into a modern version of the sound through the creative process," adds Furlong. "We just wanted to flip everything on its head and see what would happen and it turned out more amazing than any of us could have expected."
"The people who have wanted to hear me rap for years are gonna love some of the viscousness on this record," Shaddix explains adding that while he had his own initial reservations about some of the album's more unorthodox moments - such as the 808 bass drop into a metal breakdown on the album title track, "Crooked Teeth" - ultimately those adventurous decisions are what make the album such a refreshing change of pace in a rock climate that's grown increasingly sterile. "I'd like to personally thank all of the guys in the band for making this happen because all it takes is one person to give you a shot and this was definitely mine," Furlong adds. "I want to be one of the best producers in modern day music so I wanted to work as hard for these guys as they would for themselves because as a producer it was my job to push them to get the kind of quality work everyone has been expecting."
Just as Papa Roach felt like they still had something to prove with this record, so did the production team who attempted to bring in elements of music from different genres and parts of the world while still staying true to Papa Roach's sound. "One of the big elements in my production is finding those pockets of rhythm that people associate more with rap or reggae," Furlong explains, a fact that came in especially handy when Shaddix was fine-tuning his freestyle skills. "I know rap rhythms because I grew up listening to hip-hop, so I was able to make sure that the delivery was on point and the beat was in the pocket so it didn't suffer from a lot of the stylistic pitfalls that can happen when you merge rock and rap."
Crooked Teeth also sees Shaddix pulling no punches lyrically, as evidenced on intensely personal tracks like "Born For Greatness," produced by Jason Evigan (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Kehlani, Madonna), which sees Shaddix getting sentimental about his three children, or "American Dream" where the lifelong pacifist begs the listener to ask, "have you ever thought war was a sickness?" "My father is a Vietnam veteran and a lot of those soldiers came back to a country where people weren't accepting them back into society or aware of the effects that war has on your psyche," Shaddix says of the song." "Post-traumatic stress disorder and the disintegration of the American family are things I've dealt with personally and I knew other people could relate to. I think that's what makes this record bold. Nothing was off limits when it came to what was on my mind."
Never one to shy away from difficult topics, Papa Roach dug deep with Crooked Teeth and refused to censor themselves when it came to their opinion of the current political landscape and organized religion. For example, on "None Of The Above," every ounce of musical intensity on the album is mirrored by Shaddix's words whether he's screaming, singing or rhyming. "It took me a long time, but eventually I realized that in life we're all human and we all make mistakes whether you're the president or the preacher, you know?" Shaddix explains when asked about the latter song. "It's an example of how I can get lost in a storyline and explore so many different issues in one track and that's what I love about this record. Just the spark of an idea would instantly ignite and the next thing we knew we had another song that we all loved."
In many ways making Crooked Teeth reminded Shaddix of the band's early days, well before they sold millions of albums and became a household name. "When we were in the rehearsal space I wasn't thinking about who I needed to impress, I was thinking about how much I love making music with the guys in this band," Shaddix admits. "It feels honest and it feels pure," adds Esperance. Fittingly, throughout the process, Shaddix gained inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin and Faith No More, acts who constantly redefined themselves and were never content to rest on the merits of a hit single." This band encompasses some of my greatest victories, but it's also brought out some of my darkest character flaws," Shaddix summarizes, "so I have kind of a love-hate relationship with this music, but I can't stop because I've got too much of my life invested in it at this point. We are a purpose-driven band and I've got a responsibility to myself and our fans to continue to create."1. Break The Fall
2. Crooked Teeth
3. My Medication
4. Born For Greatness
5. American Dreams
8. Sunrise Trailer Park
10. None Of The Above$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now