Drowning Pool review by Drowning Pool

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  • Released: Apr 27, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 5.7 (43 votes)
Drowning Pool: Drowning Pool
3

Sound — 8
When you take a look at Drowning Pool's history, the quartet has seen its share of shake-ups and sadness since forming in 1996. Between the death of vocalist Dave Williams and record label issues, Drowning Pool is a band that has in many ways been the underdogs that you rooted for to see succeed. The band's decision to add vocalist Ryan McCombs (who has now been a member longer than Williams) was truly the wisest move it could make, and there was an immediate musical chemistry that continues to work in 2010. Drowning Pool's latest self-titled release apparently was a product of a more rigorous studio schedule, and the resulting product is one that is particularly radio savvy. Many (if not all) tracks stand out as being single-worthy thanks to a bevy of hummable choruses. While there might not be many musical surprises in terms of thinking outside of the box, the band's fourth studio record is still highly listenable.

If you plan on purchasing the new CD, try to get your hands on the Limited Edition, which includes a behind-the-scenes DVD. Seeing the band interviewed about the making of the album gives the CD a much more personal side, particularly when you learn that McCombs' father passed away during the sessions. The track Over My Head takes on a whole different meaning because of that death, and for the listener it feels all the more honest. Apparently the band was put through a much more strenuous recording process with producer Kato Khandwala and engineer Dan Korneff, and the album does come across comes across as polished without losing the aggressive nature so prevalent in many of the tracks.

During the DVD, the members of Drowning Pool do express that they feel the new CD propelled them to new musical ground. There's no doubt that are masters of their genre, but the tracks don't venture too far out of the musical realm within they've been working in for the past few years. Songs like Feel Like I Do, Children of the Gun, and Horns Up follow the same infectious, anthemic formula that necessitates crowds raising their hands and singing/shouting along. Guitarist C.J. Pierce's tones are amazing through it all, and in Horns Up he delivers a technically impressive solo that adds a bit more flavor to the mix. King Zero takes a distinctively refreshing turn as well when it delves into a more Middle-Eastern-oriented musical section.

Introspection is the key in most of the slower material, and as was mentioned earlier, Over My Head suddenly takes on a much more intense meaning with the knowledge of McCombs' father passing. One of the most engaging tracks among both the ballads and the rock tunes is More Than Worthless. It builds beautifully and features nice touches like drummer Mike Luce's militaristic snare and ethereal guitar work, both which enhance McComb's consistently powerful vocals.

Lyrics — 7
There is a relatable quality about Drowning Pool's songs that will likely appeal to a general audience. The tracks don't necessarily get overly deep or poetic, but that's not why Drowning Pool gained popularity with a song like Bodies in the first place. Besides the few ballads, the rock tracks are inspiring and in-your-face at the same time. The single Feel Like I Do is the prime example that sets the standard for most of the songs with lyrics like, My eyes are open wide and I; Learned to hate what I found, yeah; The love, the hate, regret; We all have it. It's true that it's a fairly predictable approach, but it also doesn't alienate their established fan base.

Overall Impression — 7
If you judge a record by how easily/quickly you can hum along with its musical content, then Drowning Pool's self-titled CD is a winner. After about two lessons, it was hard to not sing along with a great many of the choruses and that should at the very least make the record label happy. The ensemble works well together and McCombs' ability to transition from crooning to growling is one of the biggest selling points. The main issue is that the CD does feel like it is a safe move in Drowning Pool's career path. Of course, after all of their ups and downs, you can't fault a band for wanting job security. The quartet can rest easy, as its new CD should receive heavy airplay rotation.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Deflection
    Drowning Pool's debut album was a nu-metal classic in my opinion. Great album. However, they became very bland and generic after the death of Dave Williams. Now it's all just generic, American wrestling-music. Haven't listened to this album, but I've really given up on DP. Sounds like any other band to me.
    rcorley666
    Why read the review if you don't like the band guys. Jesus. I think Drowning Pool still kicks ass because Ryan McCombs is one of my favorite vocalists.
    anthrax765
    I've been a big fan of Drowning Pool since day one and while Sinner is the best album, this one is a close second. Saying that, all of their albums have been brilliant in their own way. I have a lot of respect for Drowning Pool.
    strat0blaster
    LessThanLuke wrote: They were awful, and they always were. It's non-existent generic Drop A or lower Nu Metal with no redeeming uniqueness, originality, or talent.
    How can something be both non-existent and generic? You're making a great point of why we shouldn't take anything you say seriously.
    lern2swim
    LessThanLuke wrote: They were awful, and they always were. It's non-existent generic Drop A or lower Nu Metal with no redeeming uniqueness, originality, or talent.
    Your horrible grammar and lack of an original, fully formed opinion makes me sad for you.
    Violent Kid
    I love old school Drowning Pool. And I'm not a big nu metal fan. But Sinner was an awesome album and I'll continue to support them regardless of Dave's absence
    IbanezKorn
    LessThanLuke wrote: They were awful, and they always were. It's non-existent generic Drop A or lower Nu Metal with no redeeming uniqueness, originality, or talent.
    No they tuned there guitars to Drop C.
    iljh
    Drowning Pool's first album was classic, every song kicked ass, though most people only remember 1 or 2 songs. They have had a couple more decent songs since the death of Dave Williams, but..... its just not the same. I like the fact that they keep trying new things and do things like playing for the troops in Iraq, but their new material is un-original and Ryan can't sing Dave stuff very well at all =/
    Fuel Collector
    no their best album, but a few really good songs and cool solos. turn so cold, regret and over my head r my favs
    Gyoung1991
    lern2swim wrote: Thrash.aholic wrote: Deflection wrote: Drowning Pool's debut album was a nu-metal classic in my opinion. Great album. However, they became very bland and generic after the death of Dave Williams. Now it's all just generic, American wrestling-music. Haven't listened to this album, but I've really given up on DP. Sounds like any other band to me. nu-metal classic?-isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? Only if someone is a pretentious douche kit.
    ahaha ^ this
    r_rock_21
    Don't like it, don't listen. I have lots of love and respect for these guys. I had the pleasure of seeing them in Baghdad, Iraq when they came over and toured for the troops in the fall of '06. They put on a hell of a show and all of us over there appreciated it. Most bands will not take the time to do that.
    ProtossKing2
    This was a great album. I don't know what you guys are talking about. I think its fine. Ryan keeps Drowning Pool alive
    Elscorcho4ever
    I agree that Dave Williams is 100% irreplacable, but I dig the new perspective that these guys have, I listened to some songs on the new CD, and I'm impressed, so I like it.
    LessThanLuke
    They were awful, and they always were. It's non-existent generic Drop A or lower Nu Metal with no redeeming uniqueness, originality, or talent.
    --cursed--
    I'll have to agree with Deflection in saying that these guys were great when they first debuted with Dave Williams, but when he passed away, they became too bland and generic. These days they have a few good songs but nothing as great as what was on the album 'Sinner'. R.I.P Dave Williams
    lern2swim
    Thrash.aholic wrote: Deflection wrote: Drowning Pool's debut album was a nu-metal classic in my opinion. Great album. However, they became very bland and generic after the death of Dave Williams. Now it's all just generic, American wrestling-music. Haven't listened to this album, but I've really given up on DP. Sounds like any other band to me. nu-metal classic?-isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?
    Only if someone is a pretentious douche kit.
    Thrash.aholic
    Deflection wrote: Drowning Pool's debut album was a nu-metal classic in my opinion. Great album. However, they became very bland and generic after the death of Dave Williams. Now it's all just generic, American wrestling-music. Haven't listened to this album, but I've really given up on DP. Sounds like any other band to me.
    nu-metal classic?-isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?
    .:!j.man!:.
    I'll give this a listen at some point. The production of full circle wasnt as good as when they were with warner bros. The whole album felt compressed like an MP3 to me but the music and talent was still there. Im thinking this will be the same, although I hope to be suprised. and wow... I didnt realise this group had so many haters.
    mlukeroberts222
    The last cd was very good but this one is so disappointing. Too commercial and some really cheesy songs. Love the previous work, but this one falls short.
    IbanezKorn
    Drowning Pool sucked once Dave Williams died. Sinner was an amazing album, and now they're just putting out generic hard rock that sounds like every other hard rock band on the radio.
    Just1Guitarist
    rcorley666 wrote: Why read the review if you don't like the band guys. Jesus. I think Drowning Pool still kicks ass because Ryan McCombs is one of my favorite vocalists.
    I agree with rcorley666. I definately think they were better when Dave Williams was around, but this band just has a special place with me because my Dad, believe what you will, dated the guitarist's aunt. C.J. is from Chalmette, LA and I hung out with him before they formed Drowning Pool and that's awesome!!
    67_67
    Deflection wrote: Drowning Pool's debut album was a nu-metal classic in my opinion. Great album. However, they became very bland and generic after the death of Dave Williams. Now it's all just generic, American wrestling-music. Haven't listened to this album, but I've really given up on DP. Sounds like any other band to me.
    It was generic wrestling music while Dave Williams was there too.
    EpiExplorer
    adj209 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Drowning Pool's self-titled CD is jam-packed with radio single material that scream for concert sing-alongs Yeah, no shits. I dont mind it but I still dont like it.. only thing Drowning Pool is remembered for is having the same song overplayed in every form of film and TV program, and I think we can all guess which.. Let the tears hit the floor?
    Ahehe.. No -.-
    adj209
    EpiExplorer wrote: Drowning Pool's self-titled CD is jam-packed with radio single material that scream for concert sing-alongs Yeah, no shits. I dont mind it but I still dont like it.. only thing Drowning Pool is remembered for is having the same song overplayed in every form of film and TV program, and I think we can all guess which..
    Let the tears hit the floor?
    EpiExplorer
    Drowning Pool's self-titled CD is jam-packed with radio single material that scream for concert sing-alongs
    Yeah, no shits. I dont mind it but I still dont like it.. only thing Drowning Pool is remembered for is having the same song overplayed in every form of film and TV program, and I think we can all guess which..