Alright, look. I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard there was a new POWERMAN 5000 album coming out I laughed a little. I mean, come on, these guys are pretty much a one-trick pony. So I can’t even say that I was optimistic about Builders of the Future (out now via T-Boy Records/Universal) because I was expecting a train wreck of massive proportions. Well, good news/bad news time. Good news: It’s NOT a total train wreck. Bad news: It’s not exactly mind-blowing or groundbreaking. And quite frankly, a lot of the songs sound the same; not only the same as the other ones on this record, but the same as what they’ve been doing since 1999.
After three full spins, which was easy given the record’s relatively short running time, I DID manage to find a couple I could sink my teeth into, “How to Be a Human” being one of them. It’s got a real catchy chorus and just the right amount of industrial groove to get my seal of approval. For some reason it sucked me in and I found myself replaying it a lot. Another one that I’m surprised I was into was “I Can’t Fucking Hear You”. Usually something with such a silly name would just aggravate me, but this tune has a very hypnotic feel as it slowly stalks the listener. Once again, I can’t put my finger on it, but it certainly got my attention.
As someone who was a fan of PM5K when they first started a song like “You’re Gonna Love It If You Like It a Lot” is right up my alley because yeah it sounds familiar, but it doesn’t sound out of place today. And despite being pretty repetitive “Invade Destroy Repeat” makes for a rather strong opener, and is one of the heavier numbers, guitars layered on real thick with a pounding drum beat. “We Want It All” however was one of the ones that was rather dull and dated, as well as being the same thing over and over again, oy. And I have no idea what the fuck is going on with the title track. Guitars buried under a mountain of programming and lyrics that are just silly make this one no bueno for me.
Getting back to a song I liked, “Modern World” was fun for me and the lyrics are pretty timely. Plus I’m a sucker for robotic voices in the background, so they got me with this one. So when all is said and done I liked half of the record. The other half ranges from the “meh” to just plain bad. But, with all that said, the songs I dug are ones that have made it into rotation here at A&GS HQ for the foreseeable future. Hey, if you’re a fan of everything POWERMAN 5000 have done up till now you pretty much know what to expect from Builders of the Future, so happy listening.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “How to Be a Human”, “I Can’t Fucking Hear You”, “Modern World”, “Invade Destroy Repeat”