This band was successful once. Modestly successful, yeah, successful for an entire year, maybe, but they were there once, and this is it.
The title seems a bit poetic when you consider how many stars must have aligned for this thing to go platinum. There was a small window in the nu metal world when it was all the rage to have wacky, tripped out lyrics, electronics/samples backed up by crushing riffs, and singers with balls but absolutely no training. Rob Zombie, Static-X, and Powerman 5000 were the three tentpoles of the genre. Powerman 5000 were the lest popular of the three, but they still hit it pretty big, mostly on the strength of the single “When Worlds Collide.”
Spider has abandoned the rapping and funk-rock riffs of their first album for a sleeker, catchier, more mainstream sound. The guitars are loaded with effects, and although Spider’s voice gets a lot of praise it’s actually the guitar work that really seals the deal for me. Countless times I thought “hey, is that a keyboard…?” only to realise I was listening to six strings. Truly amazing.
Classic songs abound. “Supernova Goes Pop” brings the party with heavy riffs and Spider’s sinewy, slithery vocals. “Are you the future…or are you the past?” The title track is incoherent, out of control, and fun. “When Worlds Collide” is the album’s best song. It’s short, it’s catchy, and it’s loaded with energy, making it suitable for all of the 5 million “XXXtreme” sports games it has appeared in.
If I can say something bad, it’s that the album does lose a bit of focus and direction later on. There’s a lot of repetition of ideas, and sometimes songs are written around hooks that simply aren’t strong enough to sustain themselves. And consider yourself advised to delete the last three tracks altogether. You just have a 2-minute throwaway song, an unnecessary Cars cover, and a dumb lounge music thing. Except for “Transform” PM5K has never ended their albums well. They either slap on some generic filler, or some weird artsy bullshit. They’re not unlike a merry-go-round. The trick is in judging the right time to hop off the ride before it starts making you sick.
But still, this album really kicks ass. There aren’t many nu metal albums that are this solid. There aren’t many albums in general that are this solid. It’s only downhill from here, though.