The world we live in is going to hell, and in the face of heightened world tensions and political turmoil, Rage Against the Machine’s incendiary discography has never seemed more necessary and relevant.
Clearly, RATM guitarist Tom Morello feels the same. In reaction to the news that Donald Trump planned to run for the Presidency, he called up his ex-bandmates, drummer Brad Wilk and bassist Tim Commerford, before recruiting Public Enemy's Chuck D and DJ Lord and Cypress Hill's B-Real… and Prophets of Rage were born.
When we saw the band live earlier this year during their whirlwind visit to the UK, it was a bedlam-inducing rocket ride through the best of the members' respective catalogues that raised fists in honour of Corbyn and middle fingers to Trump. An incredible live experience yes, but you couldn't shake the feeling you were watching a karaoke-esque nostalgia trip. On Prophets of Rage, however, the band aren't paying tribute to the songs of the past, they've aimed to write protest anthems for the present and future.
The firepower on their self-titled debut is driven by Morello's primal, unmistakeable riffs and Commerford's funky bass licks that have lost none of their thundering power. If we can’t have Zack de la Rocha blazing upfront, surely there's no one better than Chuck D - the man who once called Elvis a racist sucker - to lead the resistance.
He and B-Real have loosened the tempo but their lyrics are just as politically charged. “Unfuck the World” is a fierce rejection of racism and politicians who "spew lie after fucking lie". “Living On The 110” refers to the large numbers of homeless people living under the 110 freeway in LA and “Fired A Shot” is as much about police brutality as it symbolises Prophets of Rage urging people to stand up and be the change they want to see.
These tracks aren't revolutionary classics on the same level as “Killing in the Name” or “Fight the Power” just yet, but nevertheless, they raise a fist to all those who continue to fight ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality and the elite. All of which, as we know, are American dreams.