When promoting “Plead The Fifth”, the fifth studio album release of the American hard rock/post-grunge band, Taproot claimed that this album would be a returning point to their initial heavier sound.And they seem to have managed that,but is that enough to revive Taproot’s debut success of their striking “Gift”,10 years back?

The answer is, probably, no.”Plead The Fifth” is more likely a struggling effort to gain back what was lost throughout the band’s two last unsuccessful album attempts to experiment in “Blue-Sky Research”( 2005) ,which also cost them their contract with Atlantic records,and “Our Long Road Home” (2008).Here they are, with a brand-new contract with Victory records, and their first album under their new label’s supervision.This new album is indeed a heavier one, with surprising vocal dynamics, raging guitars and head-banging moments.The band has not returned to their rap-rock vocal style that they had initially adopted in “Gift”,though.The trend seems to have faded nowadays,perhaps…

The fact is that “Plead The Fifth” can be considered a very good album: solid,well-produced,with very good sentiment-rising moments as in the exceptional “911ost”.Ok,there are a few more tracks rated more than average,like “Now Rise”,”Fractured” and the closing pleasant surprise of “Stares”.The album sporadically resembles to an old-school hardcore album,however mostly refering to rather alternative features.Noticeably,the guitar riffs deserve to be highlighted:crawling and rising selectively,they give the album’s main essence.Successively slamming and melodic,their tunes are perhaps the main reason you would like to go back and re-listen some tracks. Richards’s vocals are out-standing,too, both clean and screaming,while some Deftones-low-tuned voices give a nice overall touch.As far as the new drummer Nick Fredell and his big grooves are concerned,he seems to have adjusted very adequately to Taproot’s needs

Another fact,however,is that when it comes to a band like Taproot,with one of the most promising debuts of the decade(“Gift”),with several big radio and MTV hits(“Again And Again”, “Poem”) fans and media have the right to be stricter and demanding.Self-copies are not excused and repetitive calculations will cost you highly,for listeners are not fools.And fans deserve the very originality of your music.Isn’t that what makes an album good,anyway?

I might predict that if you’re a Taproot fan,you are most likely to listen to “Plead The Fifth” with pleasure.If you hate their music,let’s say,this is not their chance to attract you either.

Track List Line Up
01. Now Rise
02. Game Over
03. Fractured(Everything I Said Was True)
04. Release Me
05. Stolage
06. 911ost
07. Trophy WiFi
08. Words Don’t Mean A Thing
09. Left Behind
10. No View Is True
11. Stares
Stephen Richards – Vocals/Guitar
Michael Dewolf – Guitar
Phil Lipscomb – Bass
Nick Fredell – Drums