Full Circle indeed….Soil and Drowning Pool are road buddies at the beginning of this decade; then Dave Williams (Drowning Pool’s original, one-of-a-kind singer) tragically passes in 2002. Ryan McCombs writes Remember for Dave Williams and records it with Soil on their awesome 2004 release Redefine Redefine . Jason ‘Gong’ Jones joins Drowning Pool with a new sound…growling, unlistenable vocals Desensitized . Ryan leaves Soil for “family reasons”, and AJ Cavalier joins Soil with a new sound…growling, unlistenable vocals True Self . Jason Jones leaves Drowning Pool in 2004 almost as fast as he joined, and Ryan McCombs joins Drowning Pool in the summer of 2005 almost as fast as he departed ways with Soil. Six years after it all began we have a “Full Circle”. Whew!
Full Circle is a good CD. Is Full Circle a classic like Drowning Pool’s 2001 debut Sinner Sinner ?…No. Is it as good as Soil’s Redefine?…Not even. Is it better than Drowning Pool’s Desensitized or Soil’s True Self?…Way better than both. Full Circle is just not great…like I wanted it to be.
Full Circle gets off to a very promising start with a couple of really hard rockers. Track 1 (Full Circle) and Track 2 (Enemy–the best track on the CD) are fist pumpin’, foot stompers. Track 6 is the radio-played Soldiers, and most reminiscent of the anthem rockers that both Soil and Drowning Pool built their fan base from. And Tracks 10 (No More) and 11 (Love X2) are a couple of good stand out rockers. But as I gave the disk repeat listens, I became a bit less impressed with Full Circle…not many of the other tracks were really “sticking” with me.
The track (Reason I’m Alive) that Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba The Heroin Diaries contributed to is fair at best, and even the cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell doesn’t pack the energy that the original Rebel Yell held.
Perhaps I built Full Circle up in my mind too much after two long years of anticipation? Full Circle just doesn’t reach out of your player and grab you by the neck like DP’s Sinner did and Soil’s Redefine did. When band members with two great Hard Rock CDs under their belts team up I expect great (classic) things, but I think that I may have set the bar too high.
What you have with Full Circle is a very talented singer joining three very talented musicians to try to recreate some magic that was made with their respective original brothers. Of course it works sometimes (Iron Maiden, AC/DC…even Van Hagar), but it mostly fails. Full Circle is by far not a failure. It’s good stuff. There were just some very big footsteps to follow leading to some very high expectations.
Overall, hard rockers that like clearly sung lyrics and melodic rhythms should give Full Circle a chance.
Final word: I’m surprised that CJ Pierce (guitar), Mike Luce (drums) and Stevie Benton (bass) never changed the name of the band (like Rage Against The Machine did when Zack de la Rocha left and Chris Cornell joined). Let’s face it…Dave Williams WAS Drowning Pool. Okay, I can see that Soil Pool would definitely not have worked. But after Dave, you really had a brand new band. The problem with Full Circle is it’s not really Drowning Pool. So maybe that’s part of my problem; they tell me I bought a Drowning Pool CD…but did I really?