Papa Roach – Infest

When someone says something like this: That record came out when I was in college and I loved it, what immediately jumps to mind for you?

Do you think of a Stones album? Marshall Tucker? The Cure? New Order? Or maybe Bell Biv DeVoe?

When I hear that sentiment, I certainly don’t think Papa Roach. Yet, I am the one that can say it.

My brain just does not want to accept I am that old.

Infest is almost twenty years old and it is still a banger. This record came out early in the nu-metal trend and has all of the traditional characteristics: low-end guitars, industrial flares, sampling and scratching, and hip-hop inspired vocal work mixed with screams.

My first thought when I pull this record off the shelf is that it must sound dated. However, listening to it with today’s ears, I recognize that the nu-metal sound has persisted and, at times, thrived in the twenty years since Infest was released. This album does not sound dated so much as it sounds like a natural part of the evolution of music.

Infest sounds as fresh today as it did the first time I heard it in my 1989 Acura Integra with the big booming Rockford Fosgate system.

Is it groundbreaking? No.

Is it unique? No.

Is it universally loved? No.

Does it jam? Fuck yes.

The nu-metalness found on this album is the same nu-metalness that can be found in a lot of new music. It is weird to think that a Papa Roach record from almost twenty years ago influenced the musical landscape in a significant way, yet here we are.

My favorite track: Dead Cell

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