Album Review: Drowning Pool, ‘Resilience’

lisa pikaard is resilient …

DROWNING-POOL-Resilience

Can a band ever truly recapture what is lost when it parts ways with a lead singer? Drowning Pool is certainly trying to emulate what it sadly lost after the death of its original lead vocalist, Dave Williams. Now, with its fourth lead singer, Drowning Pool is set to release it’s appropriately titled album, Resilience, on April 9.

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Many people have heard of Drowning Pool because of its hit (and somewhat controversial) song “Bodies.” Unfortunately, the band has yet to match the magnitude of that song with any of its subsequent releases. The question remains, does the new lead singer and the new album contain a hit that may just take Drowning Pool back to the top? Only time will tell but there are a few potential songs that could scale the charts. Honestly, I’m not sure that the new lead singer, Jasen Moreno, was the perfect fit for the band. He’s good and there are certainly some bright and shining moments but there are also a few songs that he seems disjointed and not quite up to the skill level of the band. Hopefully this is just a sign that this relationship might take a little time to develop but will be worthwhile. Overall I would say half of the album is a success, the other, not so much.

So what’s the ‘good’ on the album? “Digging These Holes” is the first shot the band has of replicating some of its past popularity. This song is the fourth track on the album, but the first in which Drowning Pool sounds like a cohesive band. This was the first time that the band itself didn’t outshine the vocals, unlike on the track “Die For Nothing,” in which the vocals not only couldn’t measure up, but also were entirely overpowering. The musicianship on the album is superb and a testament to the core of the band but certainly makes it difficult for a new vocalist.

“Saturday Night” is the second track that demonstrates that Moreno has potential to be a great fit. This is a song that sounds right. There is harmony with the vocals, a catchy chorus, an opportunity to motivate a crowd, and just a positive vibe; it’s high octane rock at its best. “Broken Again” is another testament to the potential of Moreno. It is done well and is definitely the best showcasing of Moreno’s skills. This song also showcases the guitar, the drums, even the bass all at different intervals and that is what makes this song comprehensive. It gives everyone his rightful time to shine.

Drowning Pool seems to have stepped out of its comfort zone a bit on the new album through the track, “Skip to the End.” It isn’t as heavy as the other tracks and yet it truly works. I was most impressed with the new sound and it’s good to see some evolution in a positive direction. However, for those of you who love what Drowning Pool was and seems to exude most often, there are a few emotionally heavy tracks. The band members seem to have connected with and played their hearts out. For those songs, these will be your favorite: “In Memory of,” “Blindfold,” and “Bleed With You.” It appears as though the emotionally driven songs are the band’s best. The connection to the lyrics really takes the band and Resilience to another level.

Resilience is just what I anticipated, a compilation that shows growing pains of a new band member, extremely talented musicians, and the journey to find a new sound without deviating too far from what is known, comfortable, and successful. Is it worthwhile to purchase the whole collection? I am going to have to say no, but I would give a few tracks a listen and pick and choose which songs to buy.