If a band makes it to releasing at least three albums, I find it a solid sign they’re doing something right. If they release five albums, it shows strength in their longevity (assuming most bands release an album at least every two years). When you talk about a band releasing their eleventh album, it’s not only a significant accomplishment, it’s legendary. Today, October 27th, the legendary Powerman 5000 releases their eleventh album titled ‘New Wave’. For a band that started off back in 1994 and with band members changing over the years, ‘New Wave’ still maintains the Powerman 5000 power, sound, and performance that people know and love.
When I first listened to the review copy I received, I thought it wasn’t as hard hitting as I expected it to be. I was wrong. Very wrong. After giving it a second and many more listens this album brings on the headbanging metal from the opening track titled “Footsteps and Voices”. The headbanging drum beat and Spider One’s rock/rap style of vocals has you hooked from start to finish. Old school Powerman 5000 is still going strong. The same is true for “Hostage” that comes out with the fast paced bass and guitar riffs and that same metal/rap/punk style old school fans love. It’s an great start to the album.
There’s a shift that occurs that resonates with the title New Wave. Spider One even said to us in an interview (to be published very soon) that New Wave music “I grew up loving Devo and The Cars and David Bowie…” and that music “…was probably more what I listen to than anything else…” And it clearly shows. The tracks of “Sid Vicious in a Dress” and “Cult Leader” slide more into a rock/New Wave style of music, which is a nice change for the band. But, “David Fucking Bowie”, a tribute to the artist who passed away on January 10, 2016, definitely has the New Wave influence, feel, and lyrical sound. It may not be what people are used to from Powerman 5000, but it is in the DIY style that Spider One has made this band what it is today. And I loved it.
One of the nice surprises on this album is the track “No White Flags”. It’s a stunning ballard where I feel Spider One lays out his raw emotion for everyone to hear. This song is the one of the best change of pace hits that I could easily be a radio single hit. But don’t worry fans, Powerman 5000 still has their old school later in the album, especially with the very short track of “Thank God” that brings back that punch you in the face metal sound.
‘New Wave’ is the definitive DIY band Powerman 5000 has become. Go pick it up and treat yourself to some great music from this legendary band. I’m already looking forward to album number twelve.