1. Prophets of Rage
2. The Party's Over
3. Killing in the Name (Live)
4. Shut 'em Down (Live)
5. No Sleep 'til Cleveland (Live)
This is the hotly anticipated debut release from 'super-group' Prophets of Rage. In case you've been living under a rock for the last few months, the band is basically Rage Against The Machine minus vocalist Zack de la Rocha, but instead fronted by rap legends Chuck D (Public Enemy) and B-Real (Cypress Hill), and with the addition of Public Enemy's DJ Lord too.
The EP consists of two brand new studio tracks and three live covers. The studio tracks sound exactly as I expected them to. There's been no real change of musical direction here. Both songs sound like classic Rage Against The Machine with Chuck D and B-Real on vocals. It does exactly what it says on the tin. If you were hoping for something original and innovative you're at the wrong party. Fortunately, the music on offer here is exactly what I was hoping for.
This EP is solid. The original songs are both catchy and fill the rap rock/metal void that RATM left. Having one of the finest rhythm sections in modern rock music adds real magic to this style of music, and the rappers remind the listener why they are still highly respected world class artists. The rap/metal crossover scene has been saturated by bands with dumb lyrics and questionable ideologies, so it's always nice to hear music like this coupled with intelligent lyrics and integrity. I think the appeal of this band reflects the current political climate, not just in America but the whole world. The rise of the far right, ever increasing poverty and inequality, and the feeling that the future for the next generation will be a far darker one than they deserve. The fact that someone like Donald Trump could end up being the next president of the USA should make people angry. Really angry. This band taps into that anger, and the timing of the release of this debut EP is clearly no coincidence.
After the two new songs, we have three live cover versions, a Rage Against The Machine classic, a rocked up and grooving 'Shut 'em Down' by Public Enemy, and a re-worked version of the Beastie Boys' 'No Sleep 'til Brooklyn'. All three are delivered with the energy and precision that we've come to expect from these guys. This EP reminds us that these guys aren't just on top of their game, they helped invent it. Right now, they are more relevant than ever, and I'm really looking forward to their full length debut album.