[Fantasy/Concord - 2017]
Pop is more disposable than ever. Hip hop is the new ‘hair band’ nonsense. And rock—at least its mainstream iteration—is pretty much dead. So with today’s young bucks too busy marketing their clothing and fragrance lines to care about standing for anything else during these turbulent times, it's a good thing to have a bunch of old farts willing to step up and embrace what used to be the province of disaffected youth: the voice of anger and discontent. And not a moment too soon.
Expanding on the Rage Against the Machine formula of pairing knockout riffs with socially conscious lyrics by supplementing them with funkier grooves and more weed friendly lyrics, the rap/rock supergroup sextet demonstrates once again how the much maligned hybrid could be transcendent in the right hands—and with B-Real and Chuck D on the mic, backed by the instrumental RATM powerhouse, one could not ask for better custodians.
Truth be told, this perhaps isn't the long awaited 4th RATM studio album of original material. And, consequently, reactions across the music-crit intelligensia have been lukewarm or dismissive of these middle-aged, musical provocateurs, as they give a pass to the current Nero-like pop and rock and rap stars who can’t be bothered to be artists. Pay no attention to that noise; that’s all about profits. What we have here are prophets. And yes, they do indeed rage.
Highlights: “Hail to the Chief”, “Unfuck the World”, “Who Owns Who", “Smashit”.