Powerman 5000 – “New Wave” Album Review

Powerman 5000 – “New Wave” (Pavement Entertainment)
By: Brian Campbell

As one of the rare bands to actually survive the early-aught’s nu-metal movement, Powerman 5000 have actually thrived in its wake; seemingly getting better with each passing record. So, contrary to popular belief, this band did not peak with 1999’s “Tonight the Stars Revolt!” (though the album did produce their widest mainstream attention to date). Case in point, their 11th studio album, “New Wave,” a bombastic affair that slots in as one of the bands best releases to date.

After properly setting the stage for “New Wave” on the opening “Footsteps and Voices” via a potent mix of quasi-rapped verses and stomping riffs, PM5K get all industrial on the straight up rollicking “Hostage” and the subsequent “Sid Vicious In A Dress,” one of the album’s best tracks. From there, they gush over the late David Bowie (and rightly so) during the aptly titled loving tribute “David Fucking Bowie” and refuse to surrender on sullen ballad “White Flags” (‘No white flags, I’ve had enough / No giving in, no giving up / No white flags, it’s my war / No taking names, no keeping score / No white flags, no white flags,’ frontman Spider One croons), before attempting to blow out eardrums everywhere with the shredding blast “Thank You,” a 1:11 detonation of sound. “Die On Your Feet” is a pure slice of Rob Zombie-inspired regalia (Spider One is Zombie’s brother by the way), the penultimate “Get A Life” is a nostalgic throwback to the chugging industrial of their “Tonight!” days, and the closing “Run for Your Life” somehow manages to have a strange, yet appealing 80’s-inspired Billy Idol vibe to it.

With “New Wave,” Powerman 5000 do a great job blurring some genre lines and refuse to allow themselves to be painted into any one corner. If you’ve hopped off the Powerman 5000 bandwagon over the years, here is your chance to climb back aboard.

Track List:

1. Footsteps and Voices
2. Hostage
3. Sid Vicious in a Dress
4. David F–king 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

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