Nu-metal had long since had its day, and the bands that defined it are, for the most part, still kicking it today. One of those bands are P.O.D., who don’t seem to have gotten the memo that nu-metal is an old story. P.O.D. stay edgy in Circles, their new record that’s just as full as angst as their prime sound.
The problem with being shamelessly angsty in music is that unless you really do it right, it just sounds like a thirteen year old. If you’re gonna sell it, you have to go all in and deliver on ends. P.O.D. doesn’t do any of that in Circles, unfortunately. Opening track ‘Rockin’ With The Beast‘ kicks off the record with all the angst of a confused thirteen year old, really not providing for a relatable or even enjoyable listen. Not only do the lyrics lack (which you should expect), but all the other elements just feel like they fall short. The guitar has no kick to it, especially where its needed in angrier songs like ‘Domino,’ while the drums don’t have a demanding presence to keep the album forward.
Circles is a trainwreck, but only when they stick to their nu-metal roots. The single track that actually holds its ground on the record is ‘Fly Away,’ its cool, chill vibe digging more into old-school ska vibes than nu-metal, and the quality difference is very noticeable. There are a few tracks on the record that aren’t trainwrecks, too: the alternative title track ‘Circles‘ and ‘Panic Attack,’ which is very edgy but at least has some drive to it. Otherwise, this record really doesn’t hit that hard (unless you’re a misunderstood teenager); even closing track ‘Home,’ which is clearly meant to be this big, awesome, and driven end just comes off as underwhelming.
P.O.D. stay edgy in Circles, and the execution of it has you wishing nu-metal never existed. The band has been in the game for almost two decades and still can’t let go of the angst of a teenager that they’re constantly trying to sell to death, and the fact of the matter is that it just doesn’t work anymore. Even the demographic they think they’re selling to has moved on as a whole, leaving this record empty and really not for anyone.
Favorite Track: Fly Away
Least Favorite Track: Always Southern California
Rating: 46 / 100
Stream or buy Circles on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: