Review Summary: What could have been the craziest release by a band who could of totally pulled it off ended up being just "pretty cool, I guess"
During the beginning of the twenty-first century, the future for Powerman 5000
was looking pretty good. Their major label debut, Tonight The Stars Revolt!
was a massive success, for the singles that spawned from that album where practically impossible to avoid during that time period, “When Worlds Collide” and “Nobody’s Real” in particular. In 2001, a planned follow up album titled Anyone For Doomsday"
was announced, however it did not surface.
When one would glance over the band’s history from that time period to the present day, they’ll find out that the band’s been tumbling down the hill, so to speak. Commercial performances for their recordings only grew weaker as time went on, the band’s lineup was never the same since the glory days of their success, and Spider One’s hair is still bleached. What exactly went wrong" The answer might lie within the history of Anyone For Doomsday"
is a conceptual album about the end of the world as told through a jaded, misanthropic character who believes that mankind deserves the violent, sudden death. That description may sound very dark, however the music itself is somewhat the opposite. “Bombshell” (which, for a while, was the only song on the album available to the public for listening) sounds exactly like the kind of thing the guys who wrote “When Worlds Collide” would make: quick-paced and infectious. Spider’s vocals stick out on the track in a good way, his somewhat guttural shout of “Get up, get up, get up”
is pretty sick to listen to, in all honesty, and he’s also one of the few vocalists of the early-2000’s alternative metal scene who could perform rap-like vocals without sounding like a total idiot.
Now that I think of it, that description of “Bombshell” almost applies to a good chunk of the stuff on this album. Spider’s basically the only member who sticks out most of the time, and every track feels like they could've worked out well if they were chosen as radio singles. “What The World Does” includes a pop-punk-ish guitar lead, “Danger Is Go” is a rhythm-based joyride of an opener that drills the repeated chanting of ”go! go! go!“
into your head in no time, and “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” includes perhaps the poppiest chorus on the entire disc. The thing is, however, none of these songs a real stand outs, for the entire album is basically consistently “pretty cool, I guess”.
The only three tracks that stray away from the catchy-alt-metal vibe that emanates the rest of the album are the last three. “Rise” is a brief interlude that includes Spider rapping lyrics that are, admittedly, pretty cool (”The taste of control is just rust”
comes to mind). Issue is, the song literally ends as soon as you think to yourself “oh shit I wonder what’s next”, which is rather annoying to say the least. “Megatronic” is as weird quirky number that drowns in a sea of weird voice effects and silly electronics, but is rather bland and forgettable. The closer track, “The Future That Never Was”, easily takes the place as the best track on the album. It’s a very moody trip-hop influenced tune that ends the album on a rather regretful note. The acoustic guitars are purposely tired and blue, while the bass drags itself along, adding a sense of grey, monotone unhappiness to the track.
Overall, the biggest flaw with the album is that it feels rushed. The concept of the apocalypse is referenced in every track, however it is done so in a really bland fashion. There’s not enough negative energy to bring out the pessimism in lyrics like ”So many people/Walking two steps behind you/They’ve come to judge you”
, even if they’re sung in the cool, carefree style Spider is known for. Had they really focused on the end product, Anyone For Doomsday"
could of been a cynical, dark, yet fun and catchy album, but rather it turned out to be a dud of a concept album with some catchy tracks on it. In fact, even the band pretty much knew this.
Originally set to be released some time in August of 2001, the album was shelved to be worked on and improved, which caused a lot of inner tension within the band. Eventually, after a lineup change, they released Transform
, an album chuck full of anti-consumerist ideas that was released through a major label giant, in 2003 in an attempt to reimagine the band. After releasing another album in the similar vein in 2006, Powerman 5000 went straight back to their alternative metal style with 2009’s Somewhere On The Side Of Nowhere
, and the rest is history. Ironically, Anyone For Doomsday"
was released by the band themselves sometime after the release of Transform
, which is a little funny to think about.