Tuesday 1 July 2014

Review: Powerman 5000 – 'Builders Of The Future'

'Builders Of The Future'

It's hard to believe that Powerman 5000 have been around for twenty years. It's even harder to believe that it has been over ten years since they hit their zenith with the albums 'Tonight The Stars Revolt!' and 'Anyone For Doomsday?' which gave us the classic single 'When Worlds Collide', 'Supernova Goes Pop' and 'Bombshell'. After that the band seemingly lost their edge and floundered trading in their industrial metal sound for lacklustre pop punk. Yet the band have never thrown in the towel like their contemporaries Godhead, Static-X, Orgy and Union Underground all did. Now, after a run of dismal albums including an unnecessary covers album on Cleopatra Records, The Powerman 5000 of 1999-2001 looks to be back and fully charged.

Kicking things off with the frantic mania of 'Invade, Destroy Repeat' the band demonstrate from the start that they are back on form. While 'We Want It All', 'How to Be A Human', 'You're Gonna Love It, Whether You Like It Or Not' and 'Modern World' show off the classic PM5K formula of big riffs and sing-a-long choruses.

It's not all the same old trick re-painted and rolled out for the sake of it. As the rave influenced title track, the quiet semi-acoustic 'I want To Kill You', and the demented electronic metal of 'Evil World' show. The band are brining strong ideas to the table and executing them well. It would be nice to see them up the electronics and downplay the guitars more often though. Simply because they do have a dance-friendly quality to their sound that is often muted due to the over-reliance on the guitar to provide the heaviness.

The production is nice and fresh with plenty of dubstep and glitch effects thrown into the electronics to keep the sound firmly in the now. You could argue that they're cynically buying into the fashionable sounds, but it just doesn't come off that way. Everything is used sparingly and to good effect.

The fact is that Powerman 5000 sound relevant again. Yes the Industrial came back for 2009's 'Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere', but that album lacked the one thing that this one is full of... passion. PM5K have released a solid and enjoyable album that will hopefully be the start of a strong run for them.

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