Jun 2018 28

Powerman 5000 - New WavePowerman 5000
Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: New Wave
Blurb: Light on substance but heavy on attitude, this latest outing from Powerman 5000 is certainly fun… but that’s about it.


Although it would be nice to hear some sort of stylistic progression or evolution, there is also a certain comfort in knowing exactly what you’re going to get from a band. Such is the case with Powerman 5000, whose belligerent and boisterous style of industrial/metal has undergone only the most minor of permutations since achieving widespread recognition 20 years ago. With New Wave, Spider One and his musical miscreants have crafted an album that hearkens back to the more adrenaline-laced punklike attitude of past albums like Transform and Destroy What You Enjoy.

“Footsteps and Voices” kicks off the album with Spider One’s trademark vocal barks and rhythmic delivery working in tandem with the simplistic riffs and thrusting percussion; it’s a rather anthemic opener that is pure PM5K… so much so that its almost serious tone almost undermines itself and the sense of fun the rest of the album offers. Later moments like the breakneck beats and screeching vocals of “Hostage” and “Thank God,” the poppy post-punk melodies and catchy lyrics of “Cult Leader” and the Billy Idol-esque “Run for Your Life,” and the spooky synth leads underscored by dissonant riffs and layered vocals on “Get a Life” are more overtly lighthearted and evoke a sense of pugnacious fun. The same can be said of “Sid Vicious in a Dress” and “David Fucking Bowie,” both of which come off as bittersweet lyrical laments to the band’s fallen idols, but with tongues planted firmly in cheeks so as not to wallow in their absence but celebrate their influence. And then there is “No White Flags,” a track that so insidiously adheres to the conventions of the modern power ballad – complete with pensive guitars, saccharine vocal harmonies, and strings – that one wonders if the band intended the song to be taken seriously.

Powerman 5000 may be long past the glory days of mainstream success, but one can’t fault the band for not allowing that to diminish the fun to be had along the way. Granted, there isn’t much that is particularly new wave about New Wave, other than the band’s nods to the punky and poppy leanings of past outings, including the Copies Clones & Replicants covers album. Add to that to rather brisk half hour runtime and the lack of any discernible artistic advancement, and New Wave stands as a rather enjoyable and lightweight album from PM5K… perhaps that’s enough for the band and its niche audience, but it may not be enough for those in need of a little more substance.
Track list:

  1. Footsteps and Voices
  2. Hostage
  3. Sid Vicious in a Dress
  4. David Fucking Bowie
  5. Cult Leader
  6. No White Flags
  7. Thank God
  8. Die On Your Feet
  9. Get a Life
  10. Run for Your Life

Powerman 5000
Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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