Reviewed! Drowning Pool - 'Loudest Common Denominator'

Drowning Pool
‘Loudest Common Denominator’
Eleven Seven Records

‘Loudest Common Denominator’ marks Drowning Pool’s first venture into a live record. The album was recorded earlier this year in San Diego, California. The sheer idea of Drowning Pool releasing a live record is confusing, especially since current vocalist and ex-Soil frontman Ryan McCombs, would have to sing songs from two other different frontmen in the absolutely brilliant Dave Williams and James ‘Gong’ Jones.

There are many who say that the southern boys should have hung it up following the tragic passing of Williams, the bands’ original singer, who passed due to a heart condition. Williams penned the bands’ most triumphant and memorable work in 2001’s ‘Sinner,’ an album the band has yet to live up to musically. Despite rumors of the band breaking up and Rob Zombie being brought in, they added Jones as the new singer, which led to 2004’s ‘Desensitized.’ The record actually wasn’t that bad, but problems with Jones led to his release and McCombs came on board, then 2007’s ‘Full Circle’ was released.

The album is kicked off with the one of the bands earlier tracks, their title track off their major label debut, ‘Sinner.’ A lot of the bands earlier tracks were played, including ‘Reminded’ and ‘Pity,’ the show being closed out resoundingly with ‘Bodies,’ then surprisingly encored with the unfortunately ironic (due to its lyrical content and Williams sudden passing), yet painfully emotional ‘Tear Away.’ The dedication of ‘Tear Away’ to Williams was thoroughly touching, and the crowd response was immense, especially while they sang the chorus. Although, McCombs doesn’t possess the same grit and sheer vocal swagger Williams did singing these songs, it is a testament to the band for remembering where they came from. Hey, at least they tried and paid tribute to Dave by performing these songs.

For those who enjoy the newer versions of DP, the band take a trip through ‘Desensitized,’ with ‘Step Up,’ and spend the bulk of the show playing cuts off of ‘Full Circle,’ the only release with McCombs as the vocalist, singing tracks ‘Enemy,’ ‘Shame,’ ‘Soldiers,’ and ‘Reborn.’

‘Loudest Common Denominator’ also features acoustic versions of ’37 Stitches’ and ‘Shame.’

For those who are/were Soil fans as well, the new Drowning Pool just sounds like bad Soil. Granted, after McCombs left Soil the band went substantially south, but that’s a story for another day. ‘Loudest Common Denominator’ is a good DP record in terms of nostalgia, and if you loved ‘Sinner’ and want to hear the songs performed again, pick this record up.

Grade: C
Listen to: ‘Reminded,’ ‘Pity’