Powerman 5000 is a nu-metal band that has stood the test of time, having been formed in 1991 and having relative success into the early 2000’s, where it would seem they fell off of the map- along with, arguably, the entire nu-metal genre. Now they are back with Copies, Clones and Replicants. Let me first burst any prospective Powerman 5000 fans’ bubbles by, with regret, saying that this is a cover album. It is no surprise that the unique brand of rock that Powerman is so keen on is that of the dying age of millennium rock, as I like to call it. That being said, a cover album of cheesed out 70s and 80s jams is about the last thing that this band needs to keep their name credible and their music worth listening to.
The music itself is made in polished studio quality, and does not wreak havoc on the ears, which is what is wrong with it. Powerman 5000 is known for their straightforward riffs and chanty vocals from frontman Spider One, but with CPR this is not the case. There are far too many electronic elements that attempt to replicate the “funk” of the original songs, and they in no way, shape, or form suit the vocal style of Spider One. PM5K are known for very electronic openers in their songs, and various electronic ambient effects, but they are normally less cheesy and predictable. One can’t help but feel that this is a high school battle of the bands, where a pretentious cover, like any of these songs, MIGHT fit in. The fact of the matter is, the niche genre of rock they represent has no place in nearly every single one of these songs. The ONLY people I can see truly appreciating this album are day-one fans, who might have been around when some of this music was made.
The Powerman 5000 we know is not completely absent in CPR, however; “Devil Inside,” “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” are some cases where they show their true colors and assault your speakers, at least in comparison to the rest of the album. A quick look at the track list would easily turn one, provided they knew at least a few songs, away from the album. It wouldn’t take much to improve on this, Powerman 5000. Get back in the studio, man up, get heavy and bust out some new, original material. If not, I fear you will be all but forgotten, along with countless others from your heyday.
If I hear another “Major Tom” or “Space Oddity” cover I will punch a baby with a flaming oven mit.