Underrated #3: Powerman 5000/Spider One

Once upon a time, in the early nineties, Spider One was the coolest guy on the planet.

It wasn’t because of his awesome hair, or his eccentric portrayal in music videos and on stage, or even the fact that he’s Rob Zombie’s brother (even though that all adds up).

Now of course, people are gonna raise a brow for one or two reasons. Some might say “Spider One is cool?” while the rest might not even no who he is. Of course, that’s why I have a blog to share to my musical interests.
For idiots: Spider One is Michael David Cummings, the founder, frontman, and ONLY original member of Powerman 5000 (In case you didn’t know), and yes, he should be the kind of Industrial Metal.

Why? Because no one does it as good as him.
Listen for yourself:

When I first heard them, I was amazed. Spider One is like Chuck Norris; he doesn’t need to sing to be awesome. He easily uses utilizes groaning voices to sliding words to powerful shouts (without going into screamo of course) to even sounding like he’s rapping. It all depends on the song of course, but Spider NEVER reuses the same formula, which I heard for myself when I gave “Somewhere On the Other Side of Nowhere” (the 2009 PM5K album) a listen. It was great, and it was still satisfactory to all the loyal fans like myself. But some might argue: How is Spider One a GOOD SINGER, compared to Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, Bon Scott, or (for crying out loud) Rob Zombie?

He isn’t. But he is an incredible frontman.

How so?

Like I said, he doesn’t have to sing. That’s the power of industrial metal. Spider’s songs really echo his ideologies as a futurist, and his ability to stay dedicated to one solid theme per album (ex. Tonight the Stars Revolt!) shows high levels of versatility (staying true to “futurism” without telling the same story again and again”)

So how is he underrated?

Simple. I’ve heard people sing and rap about absolutely nothing but how cool they are or how much some stupid girl broke their heart, or simply sell out and conform to the new styles of music widely accepted (e.g. The Path of Totality), but not PM5K. They really show a true depth of what Industrial rock truly is, and they really don’t get much credit for it.

In the meantime, I need to review “Somewhere On the Other Side of Nowhere”:

As usual, PM5K take a different approach to this album, and I have to truly appreciate the lyrics. In the song “Show Me What You’ve Got”, the hardest song on the album, Spider even claimed that it could be (in my own words) the anthem for bullied youth ready to take down that kid getting on their nerves. Clearly defined in the lyrics (So let’s fight it out/Let’s take it to the ground/Let’s turn it up and see who’s going down)

But the deepness of the title track was something I hadn’t heard since “Nobody’s Real” , reflecting on something that could possibly allude to the concept of dreaming (Electric dreams that electrify/Bombing lights and liquid skies/Robotic arms that radiate/Into the lives that they create) or even refer to the reality of being brain dead, or experiencing death (Plug in your head shut off your mind/Let all your thoughts get redefined/Just keep yourself and disconnect/To where you been and have again) or possibly a transition to the afterlife (Somewhere on the other side of nowhere/That’s where were going and you’ll know when we get there/) Incredible use of lyrical irony…

“Horror Show” is the last track of the album, and for me it raised a lot of questions, regardless, Dave Pino’s guitar skills are amazing on this 4 minute 20 second masterpiece.
Overall, because I’ve learned to expect the unexpected (something Spider obsesses in his career), I’m giving this album 4/5.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

In the meantime, be sure to look up and purchase this, along with “Copies Clones, and Replicates” (Warning: It’s a cover album)…

Keep it up SPIDER!

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