Drowning Pool was founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1996. Drummer Mike Luce and guitarist C.J. Pierce formed the group with bassist Steve Benton after relocating to Dallas from New Orleans. The group was originally an instrumental trio; they shifted their sound after adding Dave “Stage” Williams as their vocalist. They had immediate success after the group Sevendust received their demo. They released their first album in 2001, Sinner. Their fanbase grew after they performed at Ozzfest. Sadly, Williams died of natural causes on August 3, 2002. However, the group kept going. They released Sinema, a chronicle of their tour in 2002. They replaced Williams with Jason “Gong” Jones, and after two years on the road, Wind-Up Records signed the group. They recorded their second album, Desensitized, in 2004, produced by Jay Baumgardner, who also worked with Godsmack. Another lineup change in 2006 when Soil singer Ryan McCombs replaced Jones on their album Full Circle and a live album Loudest Common Denominator. Suicide Hook vocalist Jasen Moreno replaced McCombs in 2013, appearing on the group’s album Resilience and their 2016 album Hallelujah. These are the top 10 Drowning Pool Songs of all time.
10. Break You
The opening guitar riffs feel sinister. The lyrics are about someone who’s under the rainstorms of life and feels like they can’t escape. The driving beat and the drum licks bring out the message pitch perfectly. As you listen to the refrain of the song, you hear the brokenness in the music. The I is about life and not a person. It sounds very personal.
This song starts off with a cacophonous drum solo. When something terrible happens in life, it can throw you off to the point of not caring what happens next. The vocals in the song sound like primal scream therapy. One of the stand out lyrics is “sometimes I supposed to have believed reality now.” It’s a call to live to try and find a way through everything thrown at you, even when it’s like an anchor drowning you.
The song starts off with raindrops evoking a dreary day that parallels the soul when something breaks our hearts. Paralyzed is a different sound for the group. Even though there is some of the group’s rawness, it’s much softer and more analytical. The drum licks are still heavy, but the low-key guitar in the background and near echo in the vocals give the listener a different experience from other Drowning Pool songs.
7. Love and War
Many artists have done songs using the analogy of love and war. Drowning Pool’s lyrics have multiple meanings. One is that the character in the piece left for the battlefield in a literal war and wants to return home. The other is that he fled the relationship and grew to regret it. Whatever way you choose to walk away, there are heavy emotions behind the decision that can later turn to regret.
6. Reason I’m Alive
Sometimes we know that the reason we are still alive and kicking is because we’re survivors. Dissolution of a relationship can create horrible scars that sometimes don’t heal no matter how hard we try to put them behind us. Other times we hope that seeing how they caused us pain will hurt them and maybe even bring them back to us. Typically, it turns into morbid self-flagellation.
Breaking apart from religious and spiritual beliefs can be far too easy when we pray to empty air. Each line is amplified by loud drum licks and heady vocals that make you feel the pain in the song to your core. It’s a grim portrait of isolation and feeling like no matter what you ask for, it will never happen.
4. 37 Stitches
Drowning Pool strips their music down quite a lot on this song. In the background, you hear some subtle guitar riffs. Even as heavier drum riffs begin in the song, it still has an incredible calm absence. It’s a standout because it allows the listener to get lost in the lyrics. The image of 37 stitches is about trying to sew the pieces of your heart back together when you have had it ripped out of your chest.
3. In Memory Of
This song has elements of Angry Chair by Alice in Chains. The song has a sweeping feel with lyrics about the melancholy side of love. Even though this song lent itself to lost romantic love, it’s also about the family and lost friends. As the lyrics progress, it becomes a plaintive wish for one more last moment, so there is one more thing that they can remember about the person who left too soon.
2. Step Up
This song crosses over into the metal genre. It’s a powerhouse of a song with a constant driving beat. Throughout the piece, it gives you energy and would work well for striving to run that extra mile. The song’s refrain is about pushing the limits and not letting yourself be knocked down even if you have many times before.
According to The Machine Shop, this is the song that the group always plays during their concerts. It’s no wonder because it is the Drowning Pool’s most well-known song. Additionally, when CJ Pierce was asked about it, he said the group loves playing it because the fans have so much energy. This song is everything a cross-genre piece should be. You can hear the heavier side of grunge with a ton of metal influences. Throughout the song, the group delivers such intense energy with every element of the music. The lyrics in the song are about refusing to be pushed around and going to extremes to keep moving forward. There’s also an intense denial in this song because even as angry as you can sometimes get, it’s easier to scream and get mad than to break down and let your emotions show.