–by Robert Wilkins
Dallas based hard rock band Drowning Pool is back with its first record in six years: Stike A Nerve. And by the sound of it, they aim to do just that. The album drops this Friday, September 30 everywhere.
Since forming as an instrumental unit, the band has gone through four lead singers during a 7-album career. Their current front man Jasen Moreno seems to be the perfect fit and he is the first to have lasted to record three records with the group.
The band most known for their hard rock hit “Bodies” sound as if they are out to prove they still have it. If you are anything like me then you love music that makes you want to punch people in the face. If this is your thing, then this is the record for you. (Not that the band nor I would condone actually doing that.)
After the short “Doing Time in Hell” to warm up the ears, the album jumps into high gear with the song “Hate Against Hate”. If this doesn’t make you want to get up and mosh as soon as it comes on, nothing will. It is guaranteed to drive any audience into a frenzy.
The record does not lose any footing as it barrels into “Stay and Bleed” followed by “Strike a Nerve”. Both songs are worthy of being singles and both have the potential to be hits for the band. The bass of Stevie Benton drives these songs violently while guitarist C.J. Pierce riffs heavily to drummer Mike Luce, beating the hell out of his drum set. Jasen Moreno can pull off a heavy metal growl while maintaining intelligible lyrics and without sounding like the Cookie Monster. His vocal range also affords him the ability to sing great melodic parts within the same song which adds an amazing contrast.
“Down in the Dirt” and “A Devil More Damned” are both personal favorites of mine. These songs are nothing more than an ass kicking, blue collar hard rock songs that have enough balls to remain cool no matter how many times you’ve listened to them. I would have to believe both songs will quickly become fan favorites and will be epic in a live setting.
“Mind Right” is the kind of song that should be played on any station that bills itself as hard rock. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to have subscription-based radio if you hope to catch it on the airwaves. C.J. Pierce lays down some tasty guitar work as he and Stevie Benton weave some slick grooves and I can’t say enough about Mike Luce’s drumming. At times this song borders on progressive metal without being boring or pretentious.
After their hiatus, the band is hungry and hitting on all cylinders. The record has several songs that are radio friendly enough to be hits without losing its heaviness. Do yourself a favor. Get ahold of the best stereo system you can find and crank this up. It deserves to be heard loud.
- Doing Time In Hell
- Hate Against Hate
- Stay And Bleed
- Strike A Nerve
- Racing To A Red Light
- Everything But You
- Down In The Dirt
- A Devil More Damned
- Mind Right