Tuesday 3 November 2020

Album Review: POWERMAN 5000 - The Noble Rot

01. Cannibal Killers That Kill Everyone
02. Brave New World
03. Play God Or Play Dead
04. Black Lipstick
05. Special Effects
06. Let The Insects Rule
07. Movie Blood
08. Strange People Doing Strange Things
09. We Got The Beat
10. VHS

Powerman 5000 are one of those bands from the Nu Metal era that I've ignored for quite some time. As a DJ, their only song I've ever been asked to play since 1999 is their hit When Worlds Collide. Ironically, quite a few of the people who've requested it thought it was by Rob Zombie (their singer's brother), Static-X or Spineshank. In fairness, it was one of those Industrial tinged Nu Metal tracks from that time, where many bands sounded the same. I've never disliked Powerman 5000, but they've never particularly interested me either.

I recently stumbled upon their new single, Black Lipstick, on YouTube. It's a full-on Goth song with a video parodying 80's Goth and also Top of the Pops. It's fucking amazing. OK, it has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, but they've nailed the genre and have come out with one of the best Goth songs I've heard in a long time. Purely on that basis, I decided to give the album a listen. Have I been unfair to Powerman 5000 all these years?

Opener Cannibal Killers That Kill Everyone is great. It sounds like the missing link between Goth and the kind of Industrial Nu Metal the band is known for. Imagine a more fun version of Marilyn Manson and you'll be somewhere close.

Having given the whole record a listen, it sounds to my ears like a poppy, simplified, cartoon Marilyn Manson record, but without the super-catchy songs. The Noble Rot isn't a bad album, in fact it's quite enjoyable, but, aside from Black Lipstick, there's nothing on here that's amazing. The closest they get are the opener, and the old school Goth-tinged Strange People Doing Strange Things and We Got The Beat. There are so many mind-blowing, awesome records coming out these days, that pretty good just doesn't cut it anymore.

I'm not sure how many real instruments are on here either. The album sounds too processed, as though the whole thing has been programmed in a bedroom studio without real drums or amps. Oh well, I've given it a try, but the bulk of this record is not for me.


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