Why, oh why, must some bands just consistently be let downs? DROWNING POOL has been one of those bands that I have, album after album, just waited to break through and release one album that is solid and awesome all the way through. Yet, year after year, I will pick up the new album and find that once again, they haven’t done that. Their latest and self titled effort is exactly of this breed…again. A few gems included, but mostly filler.
“Full Circle” was an album that by all means should have been awesome and completely wasn’t (despite the random success of the singles released off of it) and when something is flawed as significantly as that album was, one would expect the band to deter and fix these issues. DROWNING POOL doesn’t. It must be said that this self titled effort is better than their last, but just minutely. Not enough to call it a comeback by any means.
Once again these Texans are bringing a general radio friendly Hard Rock inspired slab of mediocrity. Although it starts off with a nice little reminder of their Nu Metal days with “Let The Sin Begin”, this self titled album quickly falls under the spell of simplistic writing and basic uninspired tracks of easily hummed melodies and faux heaviness. Although this band is talented, there are those gem tracks included here too, their writing has ceased to be edgy most of the time and Ryan McCombs bluesy croons and harsh yelling just feels like many of the other bands out at this time. The sum of this band’s parts should be far greater than this and yet “Drowning Pool” delivers one more chunk of generic Hard Rock.
If there was anything that was a pleasure to listen to here it’s that occasionally the band writes something catchy. Although it doesn’t have the impact it could have, they tend to write some nice sing-a-long material. It doesn’t have much lasting memorability once the album ends though. Some of the heavier songs do ring a bit of a nice reminder of their Nu Metal tendencies but it’s rare and not enough to drag the album from the muck. Even the more prominent use of soloing isn’t enough to lift it above comparisons to the rest of the Hard Rock genre anymore.
DROWNING POOL might have risen above the low that was “Full Circle” but the band has a long way to go before they even reach the stature that they created with their debut (and that wasn’t even all that stellar). The self titled record has some moments but just cradles itself in mediocrity far too much. Chalk it up as one more disappointment for their discography.
Songs to check out: “Let The Sin Begin”, “Feel Like I Do”, “Children Of The Gun”.
(Online July 31, 2010)