Review: Powerman 5000 – Builders of the Future


Artist: Powerman 5000
Album: Builders of the Future
Rating: 9.5/10

Powerman 5000 is a name that should need no introduction by this point in their career. Ever since their critically acclaimed 1999 release, Tonight! The Stars Revolt, the band has been on top of their game, destroying the airwaves and spreading their propaganda worldwide, unapologetically. The band is fearlessly led by Rob Zombie’s brother, Spider One. The rocker had hoped to follow in his brothers footsteps with film-making but found a comfortable medium with the music that he creates through his brothers in arms in PM5K. This band has been going non-stop for over 20 years, an impressive feat for any band! Perhaps even more impressive, though, is that they have remained a concept band since they were beamed down onto this earth in 1991! Getting progressively better with each release, their latest offering Builders of the Future, proves that age isn’t slowing these fellows down. With Spider about to be in his late 40’s, he and his brothers have something to prove with this release.

With the release of the lead single, “How to Be A Human”, we saw that creative fire that has seemed to lay somewhat dormant in the bands’ past few releases. Let’s not be coy, Somewhere On the Other Side of Nowhere was a decent album but it lacked something that would give it the high replay value their previous albums have received. I enjoyed the album, but not as much as their older material… I thought they had reached a creative slump and, luckily, I was right. From the moment “Invade. Destroy. Repeat.” enters your ears, you immediately feel like the band has stepped back to their beginnings. You feel balance, maturity and an overall cohesive sound from this band that hasn’t really been there with the past few releases but it doesn’t stop there. With tracks like “You’re Gonna Love It, If You Like It or Not”, “Builders of the Future” and, of course, “How to Be A Human” you will hear a continuance of the story the band has been telling for so long. The story of an impending invasion, the story of how these sci-fi hi-fi robot rockers will slowly take over the world. It is their duty to make you oblivious to all that they are doing (much like the government in the real world does) while slowly destroying all you love. Perhaps the most interesting track on the album, though, is “I Wanna Kill You”. The title alone would suggest that this would be a heavy, all-out call for war normally, right? Wrong! This is an acoustically-driven eerie track that has no heavy air, has one hell of a build-up and really gets your adrenaline pumping in terms of fear. For a man like Spider One, one of the most prolific names in the rock industry, to sing “I Wanna Kill You” as calmly as he does really shows the bands’ impact on their listeners.

After that interlude of sorts is complete, we get right back into the action with “Modern World” which is a track about how much value is put into material possessions…and how PM5K will use it to their advantage to slowly tear down society. The album is power-packed right up until the final track, “Evil World”. In between is “Live It Up Before You’re Dead” which is all about how short life is and, as the title suggests, how you should live life to the fullest because you never know when your inevitable end will come. “Evil World” is the first track that the band has ever introduced a dub-step influence and, while different, it definitely works for their music and image. I can imagine this track being used to really pump up a crowd.

If you missed the old Powerman sound, fear not because you get all that and more with Builders of the Future. The album puts to rest any speculation you may have had about them after hearing their last album and leaves you begging for more. Will the band be able to remain on top for much longer? I believe so but only time will tell. One thing is certain: The invasion is here and they will take this world by storm with this release. Pick up Builders of the Future now and bow to your robot overlords!