This CD is just really bad. PM5K should not have put it out. It’s worse than anything they did before, and one of those things was apparently so bad the singer refused to release it. So last we heard, they had put out Transform, which was sorta interesting, and now they’re trying out a new style and identity.

They jumped on the retro-punk bandwagon with both feet this time. “Enemies” and “Walking Disaster” are loaded with Sex Pistols riffs and other assorted musical cliches. The slick industrial riffs are gone completely. And Spider’s vocals don’t exactly clash, but they don’t sound right either, and he compensates by piling on retarded grunts and other gimmicky tricks. Get ready to hear “huh” and “yeah” and “riiight” frequently.

While in most albums you remember the highlights, in this album you remember the lowlights, because everything’s pretty bad but it’s the especially bad ones that stick out. “Wild World” is the most offensive the non-joke songs. Just an Avril Lavigne song with a male singer. The title track can be thought of as bad music that is competently performed. All the musicians have their shit together. None of them are overdosing on coke or smearing feces across the recording studio walls. But they’re obviously not trying. There’s a vibe here of “let’s listen to the new Drowning Pool CD and write something that sort of sounds the same.”

Most of the songs here is like that. “Return to the City of the Dead” brings some of the trademark PM5K energy, everything else sounds like a tired band, bored to tears by the music they’re writing, thinking they can remain edgy and hip by playing punk. There’s no inspiration to speak of, this is just a phase they were trying out, and for all I know they chose their new style using a roulette wheel.

Lurking near the end of the CD is the hellish crapstorm of “Miss America”. Dude, this is not funny or cute. STOP IT. I have no patience for wacky joke songs when the serious songs are jokes in themselves.

No Comments »

Slipknot is a nu metal band (every few days a fan vandalizes their Wikipedia page, changing their listed genre to “death metal” or “thrash metal”) from Iowa. They achieved great fame and worldwide success in the late nineties. That’s how bad they are.

Random, garbled riff explosions that are so downtuned and steeped in fuzz they just register as farting noises, endless drum masturbation, a dual tough-guy/clean boyish vocal approach that makes no sense, hideous “art” songs…welcome to modern metal, I guess.

The worst part is the drumming. Slipknot utilizes three drummers, and after a quick listen, it is apparent why no other bands have picked up on this idea. The album drowns under superfluous percussion. “Liberate” and “Surfacing” have some semblance of a coherent beat, but “(sic)” and “Eyeless” (among others) sound like three different drummers playing to three different songs. The wall of snare fills and tom rolls never ends, and combined with the “raw” production it’s borderline painful to listen to.

“Wait and Bleed” and “Spit it Out” are obvious radio biscuits with annoying clean vocal parts that sound like Linkin Park, and they stick out like a sore thumb. On “Spit it Out” we get “break it down, homie” rapping and turntable scratches. But they’re thrash metal, I swear. The rest of the album is a mishmash of crappy Korn dribble and hideous noise. This is one of those albums with no riffs, the guitarists just sort of chug away in a despondent stew of uselessness. Often the actual song ends within two or three minutes, and they then stretch out the ending with free-time noise and endless drum soloing (I nearly misspelled this as “soiling”, which would actually fit). I swear that half the album doesn’t even have songwriting. 

This is terrible. If you enjoy Slipknot, suck-start a shotgun and pray that your aim isn’t as bad as your taste.

No Comments »

After pulling the ever-popular “fire your entire lineup” trick, Powerman 5000 put out this album in 2003. It’s more of a straight-ahead alternative rock/punk rock blend, although not overt enough to belong to either genre.

I miss their old sound, but this isn’t bad. It doesn’t have anything as good as “When Worlds Collide” or “Danger is Go”, and in general it plays it a bit too safe. Conceptually, the band explored the stars. Musically, they wore knee pads and padded helmets. In their quest to not put a foot wrong, they don’t particularly put a foot right, with everything staying at a designated level of inoffensive.

Highlights are “Free”, “Action”, “Top of the World”, and “A is for Apathy,” which are all catchy and hard-rocking. “The Shape of Things to Come” is weird and trippy. When I first listened to it the final couple of minutes were buried under a wall of clicks and distortion. I actually got excited, thinking I was listening to some kind of experimental sonic collage. Turns out the mp3 had become had become corrupt.

Carbon-copy an idea enough times and it eventually degrades. This is seen here with some harmless but really boring songs like “Hey, It’s Nuthin'” or “I Knew it Was Right”…I can’t even distinguish their titles. “Stereotype” is the same, but remove the “harmless” part. It’s fucking horrible. It’s like a warmup for the all-out country song on their next album.

But basically Transform is OK and interesting. They rounded everything out and made it all sound the same, but it’s not awful. Strategically apply the skip button and it’s actually a good CD.

No Comments »