Oh, Powerman 5000, how you take me back. Most of you will no doubt have heard their one hit wonder ‘When Worlds Collide’, most likely when playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 or watching Little Nicky. But, as time went on, countless new and exciting things came out, like The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons and ‘Alien Ant Farm’‘s breakthrough album, ‘Anthology’. As the world moved on following collisions, Powerman 5000 did not.
It’s been over 20 years and Powerman 5000 are still going with 8 studio albums, 3 EPs and more ex-members than the Heaven’s Gate Cult. However, despite all their hard work and persistence, they still haven’t changed one iota. Album number 8, ‘Builders Of The Future’, is more of the same weak industrial metal that sounds like commercialised, watered-down Static-X.
While the post-production is truly excellent, the content is by no means original, to the point where it’s just irritating to listen to. In fact, it’s just plain boring; there are no hooks and no ingenuity. Sure, there’s thumping bass and dancable beats, but any wanker with a keyboard can do that. There’s a bit of dub in the title-track, but even that’s still underwhelming, especially when it’s followed up with a million incessant “na na na”s. Oh, and there’s an acoustic song, ‘I Want To Kill You’, but it’s more blande than a seven hour long lecture on Victorian breeze blocks, but does indeed make you want to kill people out of sheer boredom.
The only good thing about ‘Builders Of The Future’ is that it makes a fantastic running soundtrack, but even then we’re really clutching at straws. At least bands like Papa Roach tailored their sound as the times and trends changed, but no, Powerman 5000 just dropped anchor and dug their heels into the by-gone era of baggy pants and bleached tips. You’d think after 23 long years they’d want to try something new, but the fact that they haven’t just seems lazy. Who would’ve thought that ‘Builders Of The Future’ could be so afraid of progress that they’re stuck 20 years in the past?
Written by Andy Roberts