Nostalgiatrip 2000I picked up Tonight the Stars Revolt from the $9.99 bargain rack when I was working at a Target in 1999, around the same time I bought Static-X's Wisconsin Death Trip and Staind's Dysfunction. I know, I know: I was cool. I remained a fan of Powerman 5000 for several years, picking up everything from their early nu metal/funk metal Mega!! Kung Fu Radio (1997) to their industrial/alt-metal/hard rock Transform (2003). (And, like everyone else, pirating Anyone for Doomsday?) But honestly I was only vaguely aware that they had released at least one album after that. I haven't followed them since, but I also haven't divested myself of my collection, as I have with so many others.
Imagine my shock to find a promo of their new album in my inbox. I'm still a little surprised to find out they never went away (although a glance at their Wikipedia page shows their glory days are long gone). So, for old time's sake, I thought I'd have a listen.
And it's like I haven't missed a beat. This is still pretty much the same industrial-tinged hard rock from 2003, but with a stronger emphasis on the electronic elements than I remember. Obvious social commentary in the guise of 1950's B-grade sci-fi is still charming. Hooks are front-and-center, as opener "Invade Destroy Repeat" can't stop drilling into your head. "You're Gonna Love It If You Like It or Not" is all dance beat. Other than the mere fact of their continued existence, nothing in Builders of the Future surprises me in the least. Pretty odd from a guy who once refused to release Anyone For Doomsday? because he didn't want to repeat himself.
I've mostly grown out of this music, and I really only needed two listens to feel like I've absorbed everything it had to offer. It's unsubtle, and you might call it false metal. But it's fun, and for me anyway it was a trip down nostalgia lane. If you still have some nostalgia for the band, you might get something out of it, too. Otherwise, I don't think it's going to appeal to the typical reader of this site.
The Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars