Powerman 5000 are a severely underrated band, the band are sometimes seen by the kind of people who do like this sort of music as a bit of a one-hit-wonder, and by those who don’t as a by-word for ‘disposable.’
Compared to a lot of their contemporaries, Powerman 5000 are one of the most consistent, the most entertaining and the more interesting bands to emerge from the ’90s Alt/Nu Metal scenes.
When at their best, writing simple catchy rock club anthems, Powerman 5000 are really a force to be reckoned with, and in all fairness when you look at the scene as a whole there’s almost no band with such a strong back catalogue in this field. Do you like the kind of music that would be played in a WWE or Videogame commercial in the early noughties? Then you’d like this band.
From their diverse and almost progressive debut; to their two greatest albums, the platinum selling Tonight The Stars Revolt and the deleted but still accessible Anyone For Doomsday?, to their more mature Transform and Destroy What You Enjoy albums, the band just constantly churn out bangers, never a worthless record, no matter how much line up turmoil, media derision and perceived irrelevancy threatens to overturn them. They’ve stayed the course a lot longer and more respectably than many of their peers, most of whom broke up rather than brave the storm, and they’ve done themselves prouder than many bands from other popular-turned-belittled genres like Glam Metal or Emo.
After a promising but not perfect return-to-genre record in the form of 2009’s Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere, the sci-fi themed, industrial-tinged, dumb-fun popcorn thing was back and 2014’s follow up Builders Of The Future takes it even further.
If you can dig on Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie then you can dig on this. If you can’t dig on those you may not have a pulse anyway so don’t worry about it.
Tracks like ‘Live It Up Before You’re Dead,’ ‘We Want It All’ and the single ‘How To Be A Human’ just really lean hard on what the band does best. You may like to think you’re too smart or sophisticated or cool to like it, but just like you’ll find yourself happily singing along to Sum 41 or Poison in a Rock Club when you’re drunk and think no-one’s judging you… you really aren’t too cool for this, because its some seriously catchy, fun, admittedly silly but ultimately enjoyable stuff.
A touch of variety with the more hypnotic ‘I Can’t Fucking Hear You’ and the acoustic ‘I Want To Kill You’ finishes it off and balances out the barrage of dumb stomper after dumb stomper.
For a band this late in their career, with this little respect from critics, this is a really remarkable release, another in a long line enjoyable albums that might never make the history books but which will always have a place in my collection. For any Nu Metal apologists out there, give this one a try… its not their ‘best album yet’ or something, but in all fairness its not far off.