The very first Powerman 5000 song I heard was “When Worlds Collide.” At that point I though this band was nothing short of Metal geniuses! I spied with my musical eye, “Tonight the Stars Revolt!” by these dudes, so I thought, “hell, why not?” and bought the CD. I was pleased with what I found but not amazed as I thought I would be…allow me to explain.
What I expected was something like a 21st Century “White Zombie.” However, in place of the dark and odd appeal of “White Zombie” was a slighlty more humorous and equally as odd inertia. That doesn’t detract from the album by the way, I sometimes enjoy a bit of “humour” or even a bit of blatant cheesiness in my Metal! My favourite song was “When Worlds Collide” at first, but after hearing track 6, “Tonight the Stars Revolt!” I quickly changed my mind. This song has an awesome, bone-crushing riff that pulls “When Worlds Collide” down a few notches. The song pounds in the beginning and then falls off and reaches a climax once again with the lyrics that shout, scream and whisper. The song has a great range of techniques and pretty much summarizes what Powerman 5000 is really capable of.
Another song that is a standout track in my opinion is “They Know Who You Are.” It’s similar in structure to track 6, but is more energetic and erratic in a sense. It has some jarring guitar parts and a couple of quieter parts that build tension in the song. It’s really terrific and definitely a song to headbang to. “Operate, Annihilate” opens up with a cool, groovy base and is followed by crunching guitars at regular intervals. The rhythm is tight and the band demonstrate how slow songs and changing time signatures can be highly appealing. Yet another really awesome song. “Super Nova Goes Pop” is pretty much a straight-up metal track that uses some brilliant riffage and samples to create a very entertaining and overall cool song.
Songs that I didn’t quite enjoy were “Let the Good Times Roll” which seemed more like an attempt at recreating Glam Metal through Techno-metal. Just not quite my style I guess. It’s an OK song but nothing special. “Watch the Sky for Me” is kinda like an epilogue of the whole album and isn’t really a song I guess. It’s just kinda silly and is more like a swing / jazz version of Powerman 5000. It’s very melodic and kinda funny, but a song that most metal fans will just skip or forget about.
The album is excellent overall and gets 85% according to my percentage rating. It’s certainly a very original and innovative, not to mention entertaining and kick-ass offering. I would recommend it to fans who like their Metal fresh and exciting and aren’t afraid of experimentation, much like a young girl’s first kiss with her best friend. However, if you like your metal strongly classical and don’t enjoy humour, experimentation and techno-blended metal, then stay the hell away from Powerman 5000. Make your choice, but whatever anybody else thinks, Powerman 5000’s “Tonight the Stars Revolt!” is a winner in my book.