Album Review – Powerman 5000 “Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere” 2009

Spider is back, and for once we’re glad. Many’s the time in the past decade that I’ve wished the gasping, flopping fish that is Powerman 5000 would either get back into the water or just die already. I’m happy to report that circa 2009, PM5K is swimming with the sharks again under their own power with their own unique style. 

The genius of early venture Mega!! Kung Fu Radio was its ability to blend the crunchy electro-riffs of Spider’s elder brother (Mr. Robert Zombie, Esq.) with a bit of funk. In many ways, it was more an alternative hip-hop record than metal. Subsequent releases either aped the increasingly formulaic Zombie sound (that’s another sad story) or floundered about in both pop and punk territory without successfully combining either. 

Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere finally gets it right. Sure, it’s the drum-machine riff rock you’d expect, but they’ve restored some of the cheekiness of old. “Show Me What You’ve Got” and “Super Villain” are an inseparable one-two flurry, and “V is for Vampire” adds a Billy Idol-esque lip curl to the proceedings. Closing track “Horror Show” lays down the science and thump, designed to rattle the grille while Spider name-checks the glory days and promises fun to come. I believe him this time. 8 out of 10

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