Not many metallic bands can stay fashionable after dropping the singer that made them well-known… Not many metallic bands are Drowning Pool. The Dallas quartet not solely bounced again after vocalist Dave Williams instantly died of coronary heart illness in 2002. Over the subsequent 20 years, they recorded six extra albums with three extra singers. Much more impressively, they’ve retained their devoted fanbase with each transition. Partly, Drowning Pool’s continued success is a results of the ability and charisma of every of their vocalists. However many of the credit score – for at the very least the primary two-thirds of their profession – goes to the core songwriting staff of guitarist C.J Pierce, bassist, Stevie Benton, and drummer Mike Luce. Certainly, the trio fashioned as an instrumental group, and didn’t even search a singer for his or her first three years collectively. Throughout that point, they realized methods to write surging riffs, in-the-pocket grooves, and preparations that circulate with depth.
A lot of the band’s fury stems from frustration and loss. Following the demise of Williams, Drowning Pool had been quickly at loggerheads along with his substitute Jason “Gong” Jones, whose two years within the band had been full of acrimony. Their subsequent vocalist, Ryan McCombs lasted for 2 albums, then break up to rejoin his former band Soil. As well as, they’ve struggled by label and administration adjustments, the demise of producer Kato Khandwala who labored on two of their albums. After which got here the pandemic, which started simply as they had been able to launch a brand new album, Strike a Nerve. That file lastly got here out in September 2022 and reaffirmed Drowning Pool as lifers with gasoline to burn.
Order the Drowning Pool album Strike A Nerve right here.
The Dave Williams Years
As soon as Drowning Pool recruited Dave Williams, they instantly reworked from an obscure instrumental outfit to stadium-ready rock stars. The band simplified their preparations to spotlight the pained urgency of their singer, and their hybrid of nu-metal, energy groove, and grunge quickly took maintain. Even the tragedy of September 11 – which precipitated a shellshocked nation to re-examine many bands that wrote heavy, violent music – didn’t cease Drowning Pool’s debut album, Sinner, from going platinum.
The title monitor from Drowning Pool’s debut full-length was a microcosm of the band’s punching, pumping, and relentless rage. Fueled by surging, syncopated riffs, wah-wah pedal-saturated guitars, and darkish, sparse grooves, “Sinner” is fast, catchy, and cathartic – balancing poppy minor-key vocals with extra caustic screams, and melding nagging hooks with sharp, staccato guitar bursts. Lyrically, Williams relished being a maverick, celebrating his hedonistic life-style and alluring listeners to do the identical: “Perceive I’m a sinner…Don’t lecture me/Increase your palms, you’re a sinner.”
The track that launched Drowning Pool into the mainstream, “Our bodies” blends a lunging, groove with effect-laden guitars and a easy, unforgettable refrain (“Let the our bodies hit the ground!”). The monitor actually rises from a whisper (the vocal opening) to a scream, nevertheless it’s all of the mid-ranged angst, expressed with understated verses, minor-key melodies, and funk prospers – that make “Our bodies” memorable.
The Gong Present
Desensitized was Drowning Pool’s first album following the demise of Williams. The file revealed a band as livid and decided as ever. Rebound singer Jason “Gong” Jones was short-lived, but his efficiency is admirable and allowed Drowning Pool to funnel their grief and anger again into their music. They continued just about the place they left off, mixing scorched metallic and weak alt-rock right into a bleak, emotional exorcism.
“If you wish to step up, you’re gonna get knocked down” was the message of the primary single launched with Jones on vocals. Perhaps it was a typical powerful man boast, nevertheless it additionally spoke volumes to the smack-talkers who had been satisfied Drowning Pool might by no means bounce again with a brand new singer. Like “Sinner,” “Step Up” is an amalgam of melody and malice that mixes a propulsive metallic rhythm with experimental guitar, tribal beats, and a post-grunge midsection that channels the ghost of Layne Staley. The general public ate it up. Along with receiving sturdy radio play, “Step Up” was featured within the soundtrack of the film “The Punisher,” used because the theme track for WWE’s WrestleMania XX, and was included on MTV2 Headbangers Ball, Vol. 2.
Equally fueled by Soundgarden and Korn, “Numb” is a showcase of uncooked depth. The one pause within the bludgeoning comes with the restrained guitar firstly of the refrain – a software the band makes use of to construct pressure. Equally, the softly sung passages are quickly consumed by layered screams, wrangling wah-wah-filled guitars, and syncopated beats, sustaining a fair stability of energized melody and downtuned demolition.
Return From the Abyss
Although Jones appeared like a great vocal match for Drowning Pool, the private chemistry simply wasn’t there. Perhaps it by no means had been. There have been stories that the band was courting Soil singer Ryan McCombs to be on their second album earlier than selecting Jones. When Soil broke up two years later, McCombs joined Drowning Pool, and the band headed proper into the studio to file their 2007 album Full Circle.
Devoted to the women and men of the U.S. Navy (who felt a kinship with the scrappy band), “Troopers” assist earn Full Circle a slot within the high half of the Billboard 200. Enjoying to their viewers, Drowning Pool start the uptempo track with air raid sirens and embody cries of “incoming!” machine gun hearth, and explosions. For many who one way or the other missed the concept the track is a troopers’ tribute, there’s the roaring refrain: “Oooh-yeeh/That is for the troopers.” A bit previous the halfway level within the track, Pierce layers a ringing acoustic guitar passage over a volley of marching drums, including a pleasant contact of variety to the battlefield anthem.
Cause I’m Alive
In an effort to hit the charts with a sentimental, but sleazy energy ballad, Drowning Pool employed Motley Crue bassist and songwriter Nikki Sixx to craft a lower for Full Circle. “Cause I’m Alive” wasn’t launched as a single, however possibly it ought to have been. A multifaceted tear-jerker within the vein of Weapons N’ Roses’ “Don’t Cry,” “Cause I’m Alive” rises above different ballads by injecting minor-key pre-chorus grunge harmonies, and Drowning Pool ship their trademark, house-shaking riffs for the opener and kicker, sustaining their stamp on the track even when Sixx’s handicraft shines by.
Really feel Like I Do
After touring for Full Circle, Drowning Pool launched the stay album Loudest Widespread Denominator in 2009. Then they returned to their dwelling studio with McCombs to work on his second album with the band, Drowning Pool. For some time, they progressed swimmingly. The primary single, “Really feel Like I Do,” merged acquainted components however emphasised the band’s post-grunge sound greater than earlier releases, struggling little for the change; it reached quantity ten on the Billboard Scorching Mainstream chart and climbed to #35 on the Billboard 200.
Let the Sin Start
The opening monitor on Drowning Pool, “Let the Sin Start” illustrates the then-14-year-old band striving to evolve with out altering the components an excessive amount of. Pierce downplays wah-wah-saturated guitar swarms in favor of extra distinct riff separation. Most importantly, the manufacturing is pristine, and the combo consists of digital gildings probably inspired by producer Kato Khandwala, who had already labored his studio magic with Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, and The Fairly Reckless. Lyrically, the album displays McCombs household trauma (the demise of his father, his divorce, and efforts to rebuild his life), and the private trauma completely fuels the angst-fueled music. Then there was extra trauma. Proper when Drowning Pool appeared to have settled right into a groove with McCombs, he abruptly left to rejoin his former group Soil, leaving Drowning Pool to rebuild but once more.
Perseverance Below Stress
As a substitute of licking their wounds after McCombs’ departure, Drowning Pool quickly connected with Jason Moreno, who delivers caustic screams and clear melodies with equal ability and credibility. For Resilience, Khandwala returned to the manufacturing seat and once more guided the band by a baker’s dozen of tormented songs that shudder with betrayal, insecurity, and adrenalized fury.
One Finger and a Fist
Essentially the most heralded of Moreno’s first batch of tunes with Drowning Pool, “One Finger and a Fist” is a clarion name to defiance and self-reliance that conveys its chip-on-shoulder message earlier than the band ever performs a notice: “One finger and a fist/ I’ll claw my method out of any state of affairs/ I obtained a one-two punch/ I’ll combat my method out of any confrontation,” screams Moreno. From there, Drowning Pool head to the showdown with weapons blazing, Moreno repeating the shout-along intro/refrain between sturdy riffs, swaggering rhythms, and energized rhythms that may be an excellent musical backdrop for a rapid-edit NFL highlights reel.
Die For Nothing
Drowning Pool are adept at crafting industrial laborious rock songs like “Saturday Evening” and “Skip to the Finish,” however they continue to be at their finest once they go for the throat – even when it’s their very own. On “Die For Nothing” which veers musically from aching vulnerability to full-fisted aggression, Moreno appears torn between preaching nihilism and taking accountability. “You’ll be able to’t repair it, so that you fuck it/… What about all of the damaged tears for those who’ve paved the way in which? / …By no means give in, by no means hand over/ Reside for one thing, die for nothing.“ Although Drowning Pool remained anchored in devil-horn-throwing metallic mode all through, on “Die For Nothing,” Moreno proved he had a penchant for propelling emotional and sociological content material with out assistance from a field or tissues or a soapbox.
By the Blood
For his or her sixth studio album, Hellelujah, Drowning Pool hung onto their melodic edge, however ramped up their aggressive sound. As a substitute of recruiting Kato Khandwala, who helped spit-shine two albums, they employed metallic veteran Jason Suecof, who’s finest recognized for working with thrash and demise metallic bands together with Trivium, Loss of life Angel, and The Black Dahlia Homicide. Suecof’s metallic contact is obvious immediately within the Iron Maiden-esque opening riff of “By the Blood,” a track that begins with a technical flourish and progresses by funk-fueled passages, shreddy leads, headbanging sing-alongs, and a barrelling beat. As powerful as Armored Saint, however catchy as Papa Roach, “By the Blood” captures Drowning Pool’s creativity with out sacrificing their heaviness.
The primary 30 seconds of “Snake Charmer” are like nothing Drowning Pool have beforehand launched. Between the unconventional timing, the polyrhythmic beat, atmospheric, sustained guitar notes, and elongated screams, listeners might need thought they had been listening to one thing by experimental metallic band Gojira. Then the acid journey ends, and Drowning Pool lock right into a 4/4 metallic anthem. That stated, experimentation nonetheless abounds. The pre-chorus is enhanced by an Alice in Chains-style concord, and the refrain options textural, muted guitars that construct right into a clenched-teeth riff and thrash beat that may depart old-school followers wide-eyed and grinning.
Carry on Retaining On
There was a six-year hole between the tour for Hellelujah and the discharge of 2022’s Strike a Nerve. Whereas the Covid-19 lockdown precipitated the album’s launch date to be delayed, the pandemic didn’t change the way in which the band wrote or recorded the songs. Drowning Pool began engaged on the file in 2017 and commenced recording in early 2019 with Shawn McGhee, an engineer who has labored with Disturbed, In This Second, 5 Finger Loss of life Punch, and Hellyeah. That, coupled with the stress of the period, ensured there was no scarcity of aggression or contempt in songs like “Doing Time in Hell,” “Keep and Bleed,” and “Choke.”
Specializing in every little thing that makes them heavy, Drowning Pool turbocharge the scream issue on “Thoughts Proper.” The track is propelled by rapid-fire guitar strains, pinch harmonics (paying homage to Zakk Wylde), and hammering double-bass beats. And if solely to show they will up the ante on themselves, Drowning Pool pump up the tempo into blast beat territory midway by the track whereas Moreno (the primary Drowning Pool vocalist to make it previous three albums) shreds his vocal cords to ribbons.
A Satan Extra Damned
If “Thoughts Proper” is Drowning Pool at their most devastating, “A Satan Extra Damned” depicts the band in a extra balanced gentle, nevertheless it’s not an uplifting expertise. Enjoying on polar opposites, the band see-saws between a hellish struggle march and a darkish, arpeggio-laden sing-along. The mid-section, a psychedelic tour of craving vocals, warped keyboards, harrowing sound results, and a stuttering bass line, presents a welcome diversion from the maelstrom. With “A Satan Extra Damned,” Drowning Pool properly tie collectively their tortured profession arc with a barbed wire bow, maybe inadvertently drawing a connection between Sinner and Strike a Nerve: “Fall in line, I’m the final/ Each sinner has a future, each saint has a previous.” With the band members in full frontal assault mode and Moreno content material proper the place he’s, Drowning Pool once more powered towards their sturdy, livid future.
Order the Drowning Pool album Strike A Nerve right here.