by Andy Argyrakis


The members of Taproot began their dream of being in the heavy music scene as teenagers, and they were your typical Michigan garage band throughout the mid-‘90s. As the band grew older, they matured in their sound and capitalized on the growing hardcore trend in the music scene. The guys are good at what they do, even if you’re not a fan of the genre.

Taproot spent countless minutes, hours, and days in the business of self-promotion, which is one of the most important elements in getting a record deal these days. They recorded a demo project in 1997 while making and selling over 10,000 copies independently. Because of their similarity to Limp Bizkit, Fred Durst caught the wave of Taproot and offered to lend a hand to the band. Although thrilled with the opportunity, the group followed up with other producers and record labels that had courted them, much to the dismay of Durst. He became angry at their seeking and abandoned them entirely. The result led the group into the hands of Atlantic Records.

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Gift chronicles the band’s personal growth during all of the hard work and industry drama, while playing off the current sounds in the scene. The leadoff track is “Smile”, with thrashing guitars in vein of Papa Roach. Following that is “Again and Again”, which incorporates a variety of elements, from Slipknot to Outkast.

“I” is one of the disc’s strongest cuts, featuring a slow beginning that elevates into guitar frenzy. Taproot gives off a vibe similar to label mates P.O.D. on “Believed”, which incorporates a bit of reggae and rock type influences. The disc’s finale “Impact” is filled with distorted vocals set to an intense beat. Although the band is tight and has already proven that hard work pays off, it will only be a matter of time before they fall off the face of the earth like their peers in this seemingly faddish genre.

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