Powerman 5000 - The Noble Rot

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Powerman 5000 singer Spider One has stated that he "may have" channeled Peter Murphy with his vocals on this album, and that is evident from the effort's first track, the delightfully-titled "Cannibal Killers that Kill Everyone." The album's darkness also leans more to the goth era than usual, especially with the apparent Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees homage "Black Lipstick," a fun throwback to the time when shoegazers like the Cure were all the rage (the guys have also made an amusing video for the song where a faux Banshees-like band called Holly Holly and the Night Cloaks lip-synch the cut.) The song is pop-ier than the normal PM5K fare and shows that the band can be more commercial if they want to; elsewhere "Let the Insects Rule" and "Movie Blood" are more in the pounding industrial vein that the band is known for. A surprising and very well done cover here is a take on the Go-Go's smash hit "We Got the Beat," a good move considering the Go-Go's are once again timely thanks to their recently-released and well-received documentary. The Noble Rot closes out with the twosome of the catchy "VHS" where the lyric "let's rewind like a VHS" ties-in with the retro feeling of much of the album, and the throbbing bonus track "When World's Collide (2020)."

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