When I interviewed Spider back in January, he told me that the upcoming album reminded him of 1997’s “Mega!! Kung Fu Radio”, in the sense that it would be very diverse. He wasn’t lying. Every album has always had various elements, which is really just the PM5K sound, but there’s usually a left turn somewhere.
There’s a little something from every Powerman era on “New Wave”. The industrialized metal, the anthemic choruses, a little hip hop, some punk rock, pure rock n roll… it’s as Powerman 5000 as it gets.
My only complaint has been the same since “Tonight the Stars Revolt!” (aside from 2003’s “Transform”); It’s just too short! Spider and Rob Zombie both take the approach of short and sweet, but I truly wouldn’t mind having 12 or 13 songs. It’s not a bad complaint to have, only because it’s all so good. I can’t help but want more. Especially since it usually takes 3-4 years between albums.
“Thank God” has to take the cake for PM5K’s most extreme track to date. It’s fast, relentless, and Spider is screaming more than he ever has. It’s only 70 seconds long, but it’s my favorite on here. It wouldn’t really take up much time in their setlist, and it’d for sure be one of the highlights to get the pit moving. “Sid Vicious in a Dress” is your classic Powerman single, encompassing everything required to be a major radio hit, as it should be. I just hope radio will play the god damn thing! “Hostage” is my 2nd favorite song on here. It’s got a bouncy groove, literally, and it’s another one I’d love to see live. “No White Flags” kinda meets somewhere between Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Bush’s “Glycerine”. I love it. I love the stripped down vulnerability. Hey, there’s even strings in it!
So many metalheads are quick to lay the jokes on Powerman 5000, and they’re completely missing the point. There’s not a lot of FUN in rock n roll nowadays, and that’s where they come in. I love Slayer too, but fuck. Let loose a little. You can dance and mosh too.
I always know I can expect a new PM5K album to be anywhere in my top 5-10 for the year, and this is no different. Not disappointed whatsoever.
Standout tracks? Hostage, Sid Vicious in a Dress, David Fucking Bowie, Cult Leader, No White Flags, Thank God, Die On Your Feet, Run For Your Life
Review by Marcus Miller