Drowning Pool, with Damage Plan, Hatebreed and Unearth

Even though Desensitized, Drowning Pool's second album, is to be released the day the Dallas nü-metal band plays Houston, and even though it's supposed to mark phase two of DP's career, all discussion about the group still begins and ends with David Wayne Williams. Williams was the portly, pugnacious DP front man whose throaty scream was immortalized in the group's breakthrough hit "Bodies," which has now become the official background music for every hockey fight at every arena from Ottawa to L.A. Williams, a generous soul who liked to help his friends as much as he liked to get drunk and toss lit Roman candles into band members' beds -- or piss all over the tour manager's bunk while sleep-staggering -- died in his hotel on August 2002 from heart failure at an Ozzfest tour stop in Virginia. Tributes poured in, and the band went on hiatus but ultimately decided to press on. Jason Jones was hired to replace Williams, and as reflected on Desensitized, he is to DP what Brian Johnson is to AC/DC: a reasonable facsimile lacking the bombastic panache of the dead guy. Perhaps fans will accept him anyway out of respect for you-know-who.

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