The riffsistance begins on Prophets Of Rage’s actually terrible debut

Photograph: Taylor Hill/Getty Pictures

This album isn’t good. Really, it’s horrible. If you’re on the lookout for trainwreck unhealthy—latter-day Limp Bizkit unhealthy, “Magnets, how do they work” unhealthy—one can find it radiating all through Prophets Of Rage’s debut document. Assembled final yr for the Republican Nationwide Conference, the band pairs Rage In opposition to The Machine and Audioslave’s core musical trio with vocalists Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Actual of Cypress Hill. (Cypress’ DJ Lord additionally contributes, in that invisible method of so many DJs appended to rap-rock teams.) Final yr’s debut EP featured reworked variations of the crew’s older collective hits, rendering all of these mighty tracks totally generic of their new context, wah-wahs pointlessly phasing by way of “Killing In The Identify.”

Now comes the debut full-length, Prophets’ first assortment of 12 authentic compositions that handle to be unflattering to actually everyone concerned: Chuck, B-Actual, Tom Morello, the rhythm part, producer Brendan O’Brien, you, me, the American discourse—everybody. The document is at its most gobsmackingly unhealthy in its most exploratory moments, just like the chooglin’, sub-Black Keys riff rock of “Legalize Me,” which options the primary—however not the final—occasion of B-Actual singing by way of an ill-advised megaphone impact. Later, “Take Me Larger” pits lyrics about drone warfare towards Pink Scorching Chili Peppers-style funk, which matches precisely in addition to that sounds. A lot of the remainder goals not for the serviceable trendy rock of Audioslave or the golden-era polemical rap of Public Enemy, however, because the band’s title would counsel, the agitprop heights of Rage In opposition to The Machine, stuffed with thundercock riffs and righteous sloganeering.

Sadly, Chuck D’s booming voice, right here largely lowered to shouting issues like “Test America’s pulse / Heard a loss of life tone,” sounded higher as a foil for the Bomb Squad’s dense manufacturing, quite than as one more bludgeoning instrument within the combine. Temporary moments of instrumental inspiration—just like the suggestions play of Morello’s guitars on “Who Owns Who” or the rhythm part on “Fingers Up”—present how far that band has fallen from its Battle Of Los Angeles peak, right here working nearly solely within the mould of its 1992 debut. In some methods, the failure of Prophets Of Rage raises fascinating questions in regards to the operate and virtues of political music in an period when individuals don’t want slogans or consciousness delivered through music, having already been immersed in it always, organically on-line. However in different, extra correct methods, it doesn’t elevate any questions in any respect. It’s an album of apparent statements set to equally thudding music, liable to maneuver and encourage nobody.

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