“We’re doing to demonstrate what it means to be anti-establishment. We’re going to demonstrate what it really means to rage against the machine. It’s a locomotive-like fury.”
The words of a certain Tom Morello, a man you may have heard of. He is, of course, talking about the newly formed Prophets of Rage. An amalgamation of Rage Against the Machine men Morello, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerfield, Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill. But are Prophets of Rage the best the music industry can do?
Don’t get me wrong; I love those guys. Rage Against The Machine were the first band I was aware of that used their songs to say something more than just whatever came out of their mouths. And while I can’t proclaim any great musical devotion towards Public Enemy and Cypress Hill there is a lot of respect there. But is them going out and putting on what is essentially a glorified tribute act going to make a difference?
“Justice needs a fist and a face. In America’s greatest hour of need the Prophets Of Rage have come together. It’s bigger than us.”
Morello again and a statement that points towards an issue that many people seem to have had with the music industry in recent years. The idea that modern bands have nothing to say. That in a time when identikit metalcore bands are reeled out in front of the media having been trained to answer every question in the least controversial way possible, someone needs to start prodding buttock.
But it’s not true is it? Sure there are plenty of bands like that, but if you actually take the effort to go looking for them, there are loads of people with something to say. Take the most obvious example, letlive. A band who are not only one of the best bands on the planet right now but one who have a shitload of anger. Shove on ‘Good Mourning America’ and tell me they aren’t carrying on the tradition Rage Against the Machine were such a large part of.
They are not alone either. Gojira’s campaigning on behalf of environmental issues is widely published. While once again, they happen to be a fucking brilliant heavy metal band. This idea that modern bands having nothing to say seems to come from people who aren’t looking for those bands. They might not be scoring Christmas Number Ones but they are out there, and if you spend more than five seconds scratching beneath the surface you will find them.
Of course, that doesn’t hide the fact that those five seconds will unearth a lot of crap. Spraygun War who may want to be Rage Against The Machine but release ‘O.M.G.’ instead. And despite my reservations, Prophets of Rage might come back and open a few eyes. No matter what your political views are, if they can get people talking that is always a good thing. It just worries me that apparently the best way to do that is have a group of old timers play their greatest hits. If music is going to deliver a ‘locomotive like-fury’ then surely it should be the voice of a new generation and not the remnants of the old?