A product of the nu/alt metal era of a few years ago, Taproot are one of those bands names that I had heard of but have no idea why as I had not heard them before. I personally had got in to kind of music you will read about on TINAS after the nu-metal ‘boom’ period had petered out so I was not familiar with Taproot at all, but I am told that they had a pretty big hit with “Poem”, which does sound like a bit of a rock club gem to be honest.
2012 however, and despite some talk of a possible nu-metal resurgence a couple of years ago, this has not materialised at all, other than a new Limp Bizkit album, so it is questionable as to whether there is really still a market for it anymore. On this showing, I can only imagine a real die-hard Taproot fan getting anywhere near excited for “The Episodes”. This album shows a real lack of imagination and new ideas.
Musically, Taproot fit in to the more alternative forms of what can be considered nu-metal, sounding more comparable to bands such as Tool than Limp Bizkit (with vocals that are often akin to Chester of Linkin Park fame). Unlike Tool however there is an almost alarming lack of ideas. If nu-metal was to make a recovery it would require some pushing forward, but instead “The Episodes” sounds incredibly dated and unimaginative. The songs sound hugely similar to one another and of course to previous material but without making any impact that their older material was known to be capable of at times. “The Episodes” appears to be going on a more subtle direction than being immediately big and dumb like a lot of nu-metal was, but in this case it ends up being simply bland.
The only other point that seems worthy of note is the use of computerised spoken passages (think Stephen Hawking, in fact it might actually be his speeches, I couldn’t find out for sure), which seem to be the only real form of adding something new to the mix. But even these just confused and seem completely unnecessary in proceedings. Ultimately “The Episodes” just sounds out-of-place in this day and age. Taproot may have been an exciting prospect years ago, but if this album is anything to go by, that time has passed.