In anticipation of their forthcoming effort, which will be their ninth studio album, I wanted to do something special for a band that has meant a lot to me over the years. JesusWired will continue to keep you up to date on everything leading up to the release of The Awakening on August 21st, including more music as it becomes available, and maybe even an interview. All I can say is this: keep your eyes peeled.

That being said, I personally wanted to add a bit of an “editorial” piece. We’re starting out with seven of my favorite P.O.D. songs, and every week leading up to release day, we’ll publish seven more songs, each of which I have more affinity for than the previous ones. It’s a “countdown” of sorts, and while I wholeheartedly believe these are the best fifty songs the band has ever released, I find it archaic to say this is what everyone’s “top 50” should look like. Here’s what I think though.

  1. “School of Hard Knocks” [Little Nicky soundtrack]

Recorded for the Little Nicky soundtrack, this 2000 single pairs heavy riffing with a tribal-like feel to it. Add to that frontman Sonny Sandoval’s whispered screams in the chorus, and the result is a killer song which sets the standard for a fantastic soundtrack.

  1. “Set It Off” [Satellite]

From the opening drum fill to the last guitar strum, the foot-stomper from the band’s 2001 multi-platinum breakthrough never lets up. With the instant boom of its immediate successor, “Set It Off” is often overlooked, as listeners skip track 1 and go straight to “Alive.” However, there’s a reason why “Alive” isn’t the album opener. That aggression just cannot be matched.

  1. “The Reasons” [Payable On Death]

“The Reasons” was never released as a single, but it very well could have been. Between (then) newcomer guitarist Jason Truby’s dexterity and Traa Daniels’ smooth bassline, “The Reasons” is a great song, especially for being a deeper cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG0nzjtxh_s

  1. “Panic & Run” [Murdered Love]

Oscillating between reggae and punk from verse to chorus, the penultimate track on 2012’s Murdered Love is as fast as it is fun. What really pushes “Panic & Run” over the top, however, is the brief but intense breakdown, which slows things down tremendously while giving off a futuristic atmosphere.

  1. “Selah” [Brown]

With that ‘90s hardcore sound and rapping throughout the entire song, “Selah” is classic P.O.D., and one of the better songs from their 1996 sophomore effort Brown.

  1. “Addicted” [When Angels & Serpents Dance]

Right away, original guitarist Marcos Curiel brings the heavy on his triumphant return. The lead single from When Angels & Serpents Dance is undoubtedly aggressive, and yet at the same time amazingly catchy.

  1. “Anything Right” [Satellite]

Featuring guest vocals from Blindside’s Christian Lindskog, “Anything Right” is a slower, more melodic song with all kinds of power, thanks in part to the lush string arrangement.

Stay tuned for next week, as I continue counting down my favorite P.O.D. songs, and make sure you’re ready for The Awakening. The San Diego natives’ ninth full-length hits stores everywhere August 21st, but you can preorder it on iTunes and Amazon right now.

In the meantime, let us know what you think of my list so far in the comments below. After all, what’s an opinion that can’t be expressed? Connect with us on social media to further the conversation, with the hashtag “#7WeeksOfPOD.”

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