Drowning Pool have had an uneasy ride of it since they appeared back in the heyday of the Nu Metal years over a decade ago. I must confess I’ve always had a soft spot for them. I remember first seeing them when Ozzfest visited Donington Park before Download was invented. Me and my inexperienced ears went away gloating that they were the band of the day (on a day when Slayer, Tool, SOAD and of course Ozzy played). They were bloody good though…
Since then Drowning Pool have lost original singer Dave Williams to heart failure, hired and fired Jason Jones and more recently lost the self-confessed commitment shy Ryan McCombs back to Soil. ‘Resilience’ is perhaps a good album title for them to come back with then. New singer Jason Merino completes the otherwise rock solid line-up of Drowning Pool for album number 5.
The new singer immediately changes the band’s sound to a more anthemic style and ‘Resilience’, for the most part, has the tunes to show this off. ‘Die for Nothing’ has a great gang-vocal chorus line and ‘One Finger and a Fist’ takes the idea in a more brutal direction. Similarly ‘Saturday Night’ gives Bon Jovi a run for their money when it comes to pop-metal anthems.
‘In Memory of’ is a nice touch. Released before the album came out as tribute to Dave Williams, it acknowledges the ten year anniversary of his death. It’s a slower number and ultra-poppy but a nice touch.
There’s still plenty of metal in here for the fans that have been along from the start. Guitar solos and chest-beating riffs are never far away, but the overall impression that the album leaves you with is that of radio friendliness. Listen to 2001’s ‘Sinner’ and then ‘Resilience’ and you’ll find a lot less grit in the 2013 version of Drowning Pool.
‘Resilience’ is far from a thoroughbred classic and it’s unlikely to be bothering many top 20 lists come the end of the year. It does have a handful of pretty cool songs that will sound even better live and if Drowning Pool can hold on to Jason, then maybe they can carve out something more impressive next time around.