Powerman 5000 – New Wave (Pavement Entertainment)
Industrial metalers Powerman 5000 released their 11th album, New Wave, via Pavement Entertainment yesterday, October 28th and if you like party music then you are in for a treat.
New Wave kicks off with “Footsteps and Voices”, a lively electronic metal anthem that makes it clear that Powerman 5000 is all about brining energy. Frontman Spider One has enough to fuel a rocket. Next up is “Hostage” which is a mix of Rob Zombie, who also happens to be Spider’s brother, Nine Inch Nails, and a hint of Billy Idol. An odd mix, sure but somehow it comes together to get the blood pumping.
“David Fucking Bowie” reminds me of what Buffalo Bill would be dancing in only his open kimono in front of the mirror if there were a remake of Silence of the Lambs. It starts off super with that catchy, almost punchy electronic beat and then Spider’s vocals kick in and sound a bit like David fucking Bowie. It speeds up a bit for the chorus and gets back to that high energy Powerman 5000 sound.
“No White Flags” is the best song on New Wave and is the least expected Powerman 5000 track. Not in a bad way, it is just a surprise, you almost wait for it to go from Valium to Adderall but that pedal to the metal, shit your pants acceleration never happens (thank goodness, I just changed my clothes). While it is completely different than everything else on the album, it is by far the best track. It is much slower with no electronic beats, but Powerman replaces that with very cool guitars under Spider’s vocals that have a somber, almost patriotic feel. I wish I had access to the lyrics (Google-fu revealed nada) so I could read them. They are probably pretty deep. While it slows down for 4 minutes 20 seconds (I’m assuming this is no coincidence), we get back on the white horse immediately with “Thank God”. If I were to make a video for this short track (1:11), it would basically be Spider in a hotel room with piles and piles of cocaine on every flat surface (just say no kids), using an extra-long curly straw to consume said substance, and when he has had his fill (well really, he is so fucking high that he is literally bouncing off the walls), he begins throwing it like powdery confetti everywhere. The transition from “No White Flags” to “Thank God” is startling but brings back the Powerman vigor, with the subtly of a defibrillator.
Wrapping up New Wave is “Run For Your Life”, which starts out with an electronic beat that reminded me of the song playing during the race in Mr. Mom, when Michael Keaton is about to win but forfeits to his wife’s boss. It has that casual, funky 80’s new wave (eh, get it?!) beat to it. The entire track has that old new wave feel about it, which I enjoyed as someone who grew up in that era of music.
New Wave is fast, funky, and hype; just what every party animal needs in their music library. Powerman 5000 is one of those groups that doesn’t really change their style (despite having many lineup changes), which is good in many ways; you know what to expect as a fan and you are never disappointed with some new direction they decide to go in. They are consistently balls to the wall. Their sound is a perfect compromise in those situations where some folks like hip hop and others like rock/metal, Powerman 5000 covers the bases so everyone in the room is having a damn good time. If you like A LOT of energy in your music, then you should most certainly pick up New Wave.
Bloodrock Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 axes
1. Footsteps and Voices
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 is:
Spider One: Vocals
Ryan Hernandez: Guitar
Ty Oliver: Guitar
Murv Douglas: Bass
DJ Rattan: Drums
Make sure to catch Powerman 5000 on their tour with Knee High Fox and Rachel Lorin
Written by April Baggins for Bloodrock Media on 10/28/2017