Pow­er­man 5000’s lat­est LP, Trans­form, marks a tran­si­tion for the band from goth­ic space-rock to a niche between n?-metal and stan­dard hard­core. Its not as good as it used to be, but at least it ain’t Linkin Park or Limp Bizk­it.

If it is any­thing, Trans­form is one of the strangest calls to arms I’ve ever come across. It is a much blunter expli­ca­tion of PM5K’s anti-estab­lish­ment oeu­vre than they usu­al­ly spit out.

Tonight the Stars Revolt! was a metal­lic bar­rage with a dis­tinc­tive Zig­gy Star­dust space­man feel. Trans­form, is lit­er­al­ly more down to earth. Spi­der One, is decide­ly in just about everyone’s face: the gov­ern­ment, cor­po­rate bureau­cra­cy, and espe­cial­ly sil­i­con breast­ed, boy­band mar­i­onettes who pass them­selves off as artists instead of enter­tain­ers. At the same time he wants “hands up to mis­fits, the ones that don’t fit.” Grant­ed, not the most elo­quent of verse, but the point is clear enough.

The mis­fit mus­ter­ing songs don’t real­ly do much for me lyri­cal­ly, and on the whole, while the blunt­ness is appre­ci­at­ed, and the drool­ing invec­tive in songs like “That’s Enter­tain­ment” makes me grin and sing along with infer­nal delight, the music is what makes the album.

Noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar is out­stand­ing­ly orig­i­nal here either. The first eight true songs all rock, but the album kin­da ends flat­foot­ed. None of the songs are over­ly long, most are pret­ty catchy, and good to rock out to, but with­out the ‘space-vibe’ it miss­es some­thing. This will def­i­nite­ly be an album I take with me on long car trips. It real­ly isn’t some­thing I just want to sit back and lis­ten to, it does not demand that much atten­tion.

This is a good tran­si­tion album for PM5K. They effec­tive­ly changed their sound, but avoid­ed becom­ing a n?-metal clich? by appeal­ing to action from their angst-filled demo­graph­ic instead of com­mis­er­at­ing with pul­ing whine-songs. Hope­ful­ly their next album will com­plete the trans­for­ma­tion. Know­ing Spi­der One’s metic­u­lous and demand­ing eth­ic to be a dif­fer­ent kind of rock force, this is like­ly to be the case.

Rec­om­mend­ed songs: That’s Enter­tain­ment, A is for Apa­thy, Sterotype.
Rat­ed: 6.5/10.

Concerts as of 2002

mom is show­ing up today for Junior Par­ents’ Week­end. I hope this is a great expe­ri­ence. We have porn­star seat­ing at table 1 and table 6 for the meals. i’m not get­ting any work done this week­end, i can already tell you. con­certs i have been to: The Beach Boys: I think I was 8. All I remem­ber was that there was a huge col­umn right in front of me that said “I (heart) Sum­mer.” Jim­my Page and Robert Plant: Fresh­man in High School. I went with some guys from Kmart. Total­ly awe­some con­cert. They played all the best Zep­pelin (but not Stair­way dammit) and stuff from their newest album. My seats were in the nose­bleed sec­tion and I had a con­tact buzz from all the gan­ja smoke which made me crave White Cas­tles after the con­cert. Any­thing that makes you want to eat White Cas­tles is a very dan­ger­ous sub­stance. The Smash­ing Pump­kins: Saw them for the first time at Pur­due with my bud­dies Bri­an and Phil. Dur­ing their Machi­na tour. It blew me away. I just wish it hadn’t been in an audi­to­ri­um so I could have jumped around all crazy­like. May­Day 2000: The 2nd best twen­ty dol­lars I have ever spent. Papa Roach, Three Doors Down, Blood­hound Gang and Gods­mack. All day. Papa Roach sucked, 3DD was ok, I saw so many breasts when Blood­hound Gang came on because they were pro­mot­ing their “Hooray for Boo­bies” album. Gods­mack was CRAZY. It rained just enough to make it inter­est­ing and we ripped up the sod from the lawn and were throw­ing it all over. A sea of mosh­ing. it rocked. Sum­mer San­i­tar­i­um Tour: Sys­tem of a Down. Powe­man 5000, Kidrock, Korn and Metal­li­ca. Anoth­er all day thing. It got kin­da old because I only want­ed to see PM5K and Metal­li­ca. PM5K kicked a whole lot­ta ass. Metal­li­ca was…interesting. Het­field had fucked up his back and wasn’t there, so Jason did the singing, and the gui­tarist from Sys­tem of a Down played with them. Kidrock even bust­ed out the turnta­bles. Once in a life­time event. I still don’t know whether I liked it or not… Metal­li­ca: They gave a free con­cert since James wasn’t there. THIS WAS TOTAL METAL. I got an extra tick­et and took my friend Bri­an with me. Our seat were in the bal­cony direct­ly across from the stage. The speak­ers tried to take off my head it was so loud. I think my ears bled and I rup­tured my spleen. I loved it. The Smash­ing Pump­kins: I saw their 2nd to last con­cert ever! Total tran­scen­dence. Touch­ing, mov­ing, exis­ten­tial bliss. Crap­py seats though. The Toad­ies: The best 20 dol­lars I have ever spent. I want­ed to get to Bogart’s ear­ly so we could get in good posi­tion. We did. I spent the whole con­cert hold­ing on to the grate and singing along at the top of my lungs. After­ward, I made us go around back and get their auto­graphs. It was well worth it see­ing as they broke up a month lat­er. Xfest 2k1: I don’t remem­ber all of the bands but here is a good list… Linkin Park, Sta­t­ic X, non­point, Live, Ramm­stein, Our Lady Peace, and a bunch of oth­ers. Sta­t­ic X was intense as was non­point, Live is always good. I was in the mosh pit so long that i was soaked with my sweat and the sweat of oth­ers by the time I left. I got kicked in the head four times, pro­tect­ed a hot chick from get­ting tram­pled, and helped some strip­pers over the fence because they prob­a­bly want­ed to go get it on with the bands back­stage. Live brought me back from the dead. I was exhaust­ed by the end, but that was well worth it.