Papa Roach: Emo amplified

Papa Roach, Blindside, Memento
Roseland Theater
8 N.W. 6th, 503-224-2038
Jan. 15
8 p.m.
$17 general ad.
All ages

Promoting their sophomore album, lovehatetragedy, Papa Roach continues to be “hardcore” with their tattooed arms and sullen expressions. But if you like that sort of thing, you are in luck! The fatherly insects will be appearing at the Roseland sooner than you can say “four unattractive guys with spiky hair and all-black wardrobes.” At any rate, the band will have guitars and drums, and the crowd will be screaming and moshing. Chances of lead singer Jacoby Shaddix/Coby Dick screaming are very high as well.

“We lean more towards hip-hop, punk and funk, and we also have a rock influence, but we’re not really rap-core. The songs have a pop structure, and they’re very melodic, with a lot of layers and orchestration,” stated singer Shaddix on lead Papa Roach fan site Broken Home ( He fails to add that his first musical performances were playing the clarinet in high school.

Papa Roach’s 2000 debut, Infest, made its way into the hearts of depressed teens all over the United States with hit singles “Last Resort” and “Broken Home.” Shaddix empathizes with suicidal listeners with lyrics from the song “Last Resort” like, “Would it be wrong, would it be right/If I took my life tonight, chances are that I might,” and “Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine.” The second single from the album, “Broken Home,” is self-explanatory. Papa Roach is emo with amplifiers.

But what do you call the lead singer, with his multitude of pseudonyms (Coby Dick, Jacoby Shaddix, etc.)? He answers the conundrum on Broken Home: “The person who I really am is Jacoby Shaddix, and I really feel that I expose myself on stage, so that’s who I am. Dude, P. Diddy did it! He changed his name, why can’t I? Therefore I am hip-hop!” Yes, Jacoby, yes you are.

The now gold album lovehatetragedy veers from the path of self-destruction onto a more violent, war-friendly road. Tracks include “M-80,” “Life is a Bullet,” “Walking Through Barbed Wire,” and other titles that sound as if they came from the soundtrack to the movie “Full Metal Jacket.” Luckily, the two singles coming from this album are titled “She Loves Me Not” and “Time and Time Again.” Though staying with the theme of misery, these songs avoid the warlike plague the rest of the album carries.

Shaddix puts himself in three distinct categories on the Broken Home site: “I’m super-flamboyant, super-happy, and super-pissed-off.” His show style is hardly unique, though high energy. He states, “I’m off the hook at shows. How Nirvana was when they came out – that new edge of giving kids a release of emotions – that’s how I hope people connect with Papa Roach’s music. I want them to fight, to fuck; I want to bring out their violence, their sadness and their happiness.” One may not hear the resemblance between Nirvana’s and Papa Roach’s influences simply because no one has yet heard Papa Roach (or many others) write anything as good as the worst song on a Nirvana album.

Papa Roach consists of singer Shaddix, guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance and drummer Dave Buckner. A recent project of the band is the recording of the song “Don’t Look Back” for the movie “Biker Boyz.” In this film, Laurence Fishburne continues to degrade himself by acting alongside Kid Rock. Fortunately, Papa Roach’s contribution to the film will be its salvation from mediocrity.

If you are looking for some light in the shadows of self-loathing, you can see opening act Blindside. Part of the recent Swedish musical invasion, the band members are Christian. Lucky for Papa Roach’s tour standing, Blindside still claim the hardcore label. An example of influences? They were mentored and supported by the fellow religious musicians of the band P.O.D. Blindside will play hard without the morose feeling one may receive from watching Papa Roach.

Do you admire the manic-depressive? Do you want to see them jumping around on stage, idolizing Nirvana? Yes? Then be at the Roseland next Wednesday. (Hint: Remember your Prozac.)