Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere review by Powerman 5000

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  • Released: Oct 6, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 6.8 (20 votes)
Powerman 5000: Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere

Sound — 8
Powerman 5000, after taking a brief walk into the land of punk rock, has wisely returned to the space-age, electronic-driven blend of rock that led the band to stardom in the first place. Taking a cue from 1999's platinum-selling Tonight The Stars Revolt, Powerman 5000's latest record Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere is once again dishing out plenty of infectious sampling/synth hooks, hip themes (vampires, villains, and technology among them), and power chords to back it all up. Some might consider it a way to get back into the good graces of fans from a decade ago, but for the most part the band does succeed at creating a cool vibe on the new album, and it doesn't hurt that most of the choruses although somewhat trite lyrically are incredibly catchy.

Powerman 5000 (which now only has one original member left: Spider One) had confused/distressed plenty of fans with 2006's Destroy What You Enjoy, an album that was leaned more heavily on the punk genre than anything. It was basically a 180-degree turn from the elaborate synth lines and sci-fi-inspired lyrics that had peppered previous recordings, and the concept wasn't embraced by most. The band has seemingly learned the error of its ways, and Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere is at the very least a return to the comfort zone. While their sound might not be groundbreaking anymore, it does have a fascinating cinematic nature to it.

The band sets the mood immediately by placing an intriguing spoken-word interlude in the first few minutes of the CD. There's just something about hearing the statement, I tell you this: If there are any intelligent creatures on this planet, they're our enemies. That kind of drama draws you in as if you are about to watch some crazy alien film, and Powerman 5000 keeps the momentum going by transitioning quickly into the first full-on song, Show Me What You've Got. That track represents the first of many songs built around a format that includes quirky samples that you might find in a sci-fi film, as well as the all-important big choruses. Mood is a big driving force on Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere, and frontman Spider aids the process with his vocal range and inflection.

Highlights on the CD include Do Your Thing, a track that although still relies on plenty of sampling, revolves around a fantastic guitar lick. The title track is one of the mellower offerings on the album, and arrangement-wise there are quite a few interesting things happening from a faux string section via synth work to a whole bunch of trippy sound effects to Spider's effective hushed vocal technique. The main issue is that many of the songs, without all the digital enhancements, could be taken as a bit pedestrian. Thanks to creative arrangements and charismatic vocals, however, Somewhere On The Other Side of Nowhere is leaps and bounds a better album than Destroy What You Enjoy.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrical content doesn't quite match the level of creativity happening with the music portion, but in a way it does work with the big choruses. An appropriate example comes in Super Villain when Spider sings, Smash it up; Burn it down; Tearing up the underground; You want to live like a super villain. Nothing too interesting within the content, but it does make for a memory-friendly chorus if you want to sing along. Every once awhile there is more intriguing imagery (You're like a satellite; Spinning down from the sky tonight; You're blazing a trail with your horns and your tail in Make Us Insane), but for the most part the lyrical content doesn't match up to the experimental nature of the musical composition.

Overall Impression — 7
For anyone who heard Destroy What You Enjoy, the new record should come as a huge relief. The band has returned to more of a sonic, larger-than-life sound that, although might not be taken seriously by music snobs, is still an enjoyable listen. The best way to describe Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere is as a guilty pleasure. At times it's more fun to listen for all the funky little samples that show up intermittently, but in the end there are still enough likeable melodies (with a heavy dose of classic power chords) to create a cohesive, solid album.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I still listen to the old stuff on a regular basis. Maybe I'll check out the new stuff!
    PM5K is kinda like a cult phenomena. . . They've been around for ages, associated acts include Deadsy, and obviously Rob Zombie as well as Marilyn Manson. The relationship between those four sets of artist is fairly incestuous. But yeah, they've been around, never gone anywhere. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit they're a guilty pleasures of mine
    There are bands that I would classify as "punk" that I love to death: Paramore, Cartel, Faktion, Falloutboy...
    The term "punk" umbrellas a lot of things, and those bands are pop, at best. Anyways. My brother and I used to listen to them a lot when we were younger, started listening to their Transform album and weren't really into them anymore. It's good to know that their music is making a shift backwards. I never made the connection, but a few weeks ago, my friend Kevin told me that the lead singer from P5000 was Rob Zombie's brother. Blew my freaking mind.
    has wisely returned to the space-age, electronic-driven blend of rock
    Thank god. I might actually buy this album.
    i know its hard to believe ppl but just because you dont hear about a band for a while, doesnt mean they just disappeared either. Lots of bands who were one hit wonders go on to make more music but ppl tend to think they broke up or are not around any more becuz they didnt get major press or any press in some cases. One of my ex bass players was a member of the Powerman5000 lineup after they disappeared from main stream media. "They're still around?" they never left, the music critics just lost interest. LOL i do agree though that im happy they got back to what made me take notice in the first place. Have to give this a listen.
    Fucking underrated review, this was best album of the month. Very catchy riffs and lyrics. And by far 2nd best or even best Powerman 5000 album. V IS FOR VAMPIRE GUYS
    Who are these guys..? A friend said they were a bit so-so, thought I'd give a listen, 'twas just a little bit so-so..
    i think i'll check it out, just cause i sometimes still listen to and enjoy Tonight the Stars Revolt. It's simple and fun.
    I thought the album, and artwork were pretty bad! start to finish, theres maybe 3 moments on the cd where i even found it listenable. Things change, but for P5000, this was not good.
    wow i thought these guys were one hit wonders. when worlds collide is the only song i know from them
    I'll look for this in the bargain bin in a couple weeks next to the used copies of Coal Chamber.
    yeah i agree wth kristian, they kinda lost if after "tonight the stars revolt." "Transform" was not their sound and it definitely disappointed me. I hope this album is back to their original sound
    Senor Kristian
    Cool cover. Not into them anymore, though. And only liked their 1st or 2nd album (Tonight the Stars Revolt!). But as zckdion, I'm surprised as well. Didn't think the band existed anymore either
    IROn 5L1nKY
    Was the punk sound THAT bad??? There are bands that I would classify as "punk" that I love to death: Paramore, Cartel, Faktion, Falloutboy...
    Eh-herm. . . Someone who fronts a GENUINE pop-punk band right here (more the former less the latter). . . "Punk" is a term that gets thrown around a bit too much; most Punk bands stand for something and are willing to fight tooth and nail holding tightly to there convictions and using music as a weapon. . . What exactly do ANY of those "artists" offer to the world other than apathetic, inceasent whining about other girls & boys, and crying about life? Sry, but there's a bigger picture to be had, personal prefferance and all, but factually stated NONE of those bands fall into a genuine "Punk" classification