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.