When a Christian artist gains mainstream appeal, many fans in the Christian industry tend to watch the artist for any kind of hint that they've denounced their faith or have sold out. This was no exception for San Diego rockers P.O.D. when the spotlight upon them began to grow in the late 1990's. Since the controversial departure of original guitarist Marcos Curiel and the release of their most recent record Payable On Death in 2003, P.O.D. was the topic of much scrutiny. With the release of their newest studio project just on the horizon, the band has decided to return to the days of their independent successes, releasing a rare follow-up to their 1998 Warriors EP, the aptly titled The Warriors EP Vol. 2.
P.O.D. almost seems determined to set the record straight about their faith with The Warriors EP Vol. 2 project. The opening rocker, "If It Wasn't For You," features Sonny Sandoval declaring the band's beliefs, specifically their faith in Christ, "If it wasn't for You / None of this would ever mean a thing / If it wasn't for You / Tell me what else would I believe?" The song also contains a play on words that ought to turn a few heads, "Do I believe in heaven and hell? / Shoot, hell yeah I do! / Cause we're alive today / And my crew is living proof" Musically, the song is a throwback to Satellite, and this vibe continues well into "Teachers" and "Ya Mama." With their last record, Payable On Death, P.O.D. began losing the edge that fueled most of their songs. It's nice to hear the band fusing this into their newer material. The only drawback to this, however, is a few of the songs may feel a little "been there, done that," but this feeling is ultimately dispelled when the reggae-soaked "Why Wait?" follows. It's a fitting sound for P.O.D., but odd considering the horns give it almost a sort of Supertones' Chase The Sun feel. Lyrically, the song encourages the unbeliever to stop hesitating and accept Christ's love (here referred to as "Jah" and "His Majesty"). "Eyes Of A Stranger" returns to more of the band's signature rock sound, but doesn't drop the reggae flavor of the previous track entirely, letting it bleed into its successor. The EP closes with two live cuts from their performance at Cornerstone Festival. The first selection is "Boom" from Satellite which opens with a fantastic original lead-in, while the album ends with the less-impressive "Wildfire" from Payable On Death.
For fans disenchanted by the band's previous effort, The Warriors EP Vol. 2 is a glimmer of hope that the band isn't done cranking out some strong new songs. The EP does its job for whetting the fans' appetite for the band's pending January release, Testify. But grab this one soon! Only 40,000 copies have been pressed, so this will be a collector's item for sure...- Review date: 11/16/05, written by John DiBiase
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