When you are younger, all you want is music that is extremely aggressive and angsty. It seems like a multitude of people reviewing this record are not the same age as the band that wrote and recorded it. So let’s put that into perspective, if you think most “modern rock” bands are the pinnacle of song writing then your age is just showing. A lot of the bands that Taproot is currently touring with or that they are lumped in with are bland. That is just a simple truth and sure, it is just a matter of opinion but explain to me why CD sales are the way they are then? Yes, the RIAA is to blame as well… but I’m digressing.
I saw Taproot open up for the Deftones back in 2001 and in an anticipratory move, I bought “Gift”. It suited what I was into then but listening to it recently there were things I realized. There are only a few songs that still hold up because it did follow a formula. When “Welcome” came out, I was really bored with the band and felt like they were not going anywhere interesting. They called it “experimental” but it just sounded like average radio rock at that time. I used to be what you call a “nu-metal” fan and the thing is that you get older. You grow up, you realize that a lot of the lyrics that you used to identify with are really self centered and immature. I loved Korn up until this last record that came out but Jon Davis writes boring songs literally because he has like three topics he sticks to and I really don’t care how hard fame is. The Deftones are the only band from this grouping that I still say are in my top five favorite bands because they grow and were never really a mainstream act.
As soon as I heard that Taproot was working with Billy Corgan on this record, I became really excited because his work in general tends to eclipse all others. The songs he worked on are some of my favorites on this record. I had no idea that Jonah worked on Calling but it makes more sense why that song sounds the way it does. That song and Facepeeler were sort of a letdown at first because it seemed like more of the same but the more I hear them then I more I like them. Is it just me or is there an influence of Poison the Well in the chord progressions in facepeeler? The opening riff is way nu-metal but the rest of the song redeems it.
This is a really good rock record, it isn’t worried about being part of a sub-genre. Most people will snub it because of the bands previous work but it represents growth.
If you like this record then check out Circa Survive’s Juturna album.