Prophets of Rage is a Cringe Masterpiece

1You may have already forgotten (good for you) that the “rap rock supergroup” Prophets of Rage formed last year featuring most of Rage Against the Machine/AudioSlave, two members of Public Enemy, and B-Real of Cypress Hill.

The amalgamation of middle-aged artists who have never written a good song in their 30+ years in the industry (with the possible exception of Chuck D) were described by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine as “…an elite task force of revolutionary musicians determined to confront the mountain of election year bullshit, and confront it head on…”

Leave it to Communist “artists” in Che Guevara shirts to tell you whose opinions deserve to be violently “silenced” in this video for the incomprehensible Radical Eyes.

Last January, when Prophets of Rage came onto the scene, people were excited for a refreshing hardcore take on the “system” and the “racist evil” of the man running for President–a man who couldn’t possibly win.

Predictably, the project’s excitement and virility went flaccid, and a major album release from Prophets of Rage in September 2017 falls on deaf ears. But that won’t stop Tom Morello and Chuck D trying to sound cool on the failing Daily Show while they stumble through tired political rhetoric and drag their feet through another version of the same song they’ve been making for three decades.

None of this stopped me from checking out the album out of morbid curiosity. Let’s call it…my version of “cutting.” I’m always anxious to test my tolerance for pain. To get the full effect, you’d have to force yourself to listen to these individual tracks (don’t). But let’s establish that they all sound the same, and they’re all faux-edgy with goofy outdated record scratches. Now let’s get into the best part: the cringe lyrics.

TRACK 1: Radical Eyes

Can’t resist don’t even draw / All the things all you do / Now your part on the trees / You’ve distracted again / Your fantasy when you walk and for the fight for the win
They didn’t hear my cry / He said fuck my pride
The say I’m radicalized
(See my radical eyes)

It’s actually amazing that the album starts out like this. It’s the most apt introduction to what the rest of the album is going to be. The lyrics make no artistic or literal sense, and it’s clear that whoever is writing the words is deeply struggling for loose rhymes that sound like they may be intentionally deep. They’re not. But what else is new for Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, or Cypress Hill?

TRACK 2: Unfuck the World

No Hatred / Fuck Racists / Blank Faces / Time’s Changin’ / One Nation / Unification / The Vibration / Unfuck the World!

There are so many good lines in this track, but the desperate attempt for the chorus to become a chant reminiscent of Green Day‘s “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA” is palpable. This is Black Eyed Peas level cringe.

TRACK 3: Legalize Me

Yo, where those candles lit / Teenagers blown to bits / I’m filling radio with hits / Prime nights at the Ritz

I’ll be honest, it was refreshing to find out this song wasn’t about illegal immigration. But it was distressing when I couldn’t fathom what else it could possibly be about. I don’t know. You tell me. Weed, maybe?

TRACK 4: Living on the 110

Living on the 110 / There’s no end to the poverty, stopping me / You pretend there’s democracy, hypocrisy / This is the reality / Living on the 110 / There’s no end to the poverty, stopping me / You depend on democracy, hypocrisy / This is the reality

OK–finally we get a song with a defined purpose. The 110 is a California highway with lots of tent cities. Got it. Tom Morello said that everyone is rich and the tent city people are the ones suffering. Because Tom Morello lives in a world of grandstanding black & white. Sorry, Tom. You’re the elite. You’re sucking Trevor Noah’s cock while LA’s Democratic gov’t does nothing for homelessness. You do have democracy, Tom. But you depend on hypocrisy. Oh, shit. I should be Chuck D.

TRACK 5: The Counteroffensive

[Scattered Vocals Amongst Record Scratching] / Counteroffensive / Counteroffensive / Prophets of Rage / Counteroffensive / Prophets of Rage

Um…let’s call this one an “intermission”? Oof…

TRACK 6: Hail to the Chief

All Hail to the chief who came in the name of a Thief to cease Peace / He’ll be comin’ round that mountain / All Hail to the chief who came in the name of Thief to cease Peace / And he didn’t even run

It’s becoming more and more clear that this album was either written in 2003 and released today, or that it was written and recorded last weekend. Title makes it sound like it would be the album’s big ANTI-TRUMP song…but I’m not even sure what this is. Lots of cowboy references. I honestly don’t get it; nor do I see why anyone else would.

TRACK 7: Take Me Higher

Drones! / They got ya tapped, they got ya phone / Look out! / Drones! / They got ya trapped, they spot ya home / Cuz you’re a target! / Drones gonna take you out / Drones gonna shut yo mouth / Drones flyin’ checkin’ ya’ll out / Drones in the hood like ‘wow’

So far, that’s two songs in a row with titles that other artists performed much more competently. This one…this one was a doozy. I have to believe this is the last song they wrote. Tom Morello said “We need 12 tracks! We have 11!” to which Chuck D replied, “So what, man? I’m tired of writin’.” To which Cypress Hill responded, “What about just yelling DRONEZ?” And the rest is history. Seriously, though. This track is a fucking embarrassment to rap, rock, and rap-rock.

TRACK 8: Strength in Numbers

Standing on a rock / Staring at the cop / With the [?] / While you wanna hit the fucking blunt / We don’t want no pipeline / Injustice of a lifetime / Brothers turn away / Like they don’t see us spend a lifeline / High crimes / Does it make you wonder? / Stand together / Because there’s strength in numbers

Even the hardcore dedicated fans who scribe and dissect these awful lyrics have given up trying to figure this shit out. This is a mishmash of references to Left Wing causes randomly assorted with zero context. “Standing on a rock”? May be a throwaway allusion to the Standing Rock protest? Who’s to say? There has to be someone literate in this “super-group.” Right?

TRACK 9: Fired a Shot

Look who fired the shot / I just fired the shot / We fired the shot / Look who fired the shot / Look who fired the shot / I just fired the shot / We fired the shot / Look who fired the shot

Everyone in this “super group” has Down Syndrome. They should’ve called it Prophets of the Syndrome and gave all the proceeds to some kind of charity that takes WEED away from these water-heads.

TRACK 10: Who Owns Who

Know your rights but you should understand / Who owns who / Systematic breakdown / Know your rights but you should understand / Who owns who / We fuckin’ matter

I think this song is about immigrants crossing the borders, having sex with American women, burning the American flag, and then whining about how they own the streets and matter to the country. I disagree.

TRACK 11: Hands Up

Hands up x3 / Had enough x3 / What the fuck?

I truly hope you’re starting to sense a theme here, and I think if you’re playing along at home, you too could write a Prophets of Rage song (or really any Rage Against the Machine song).
Pick a phrase that’s mildly provocative, but only enough to rile up a 13 year old. Repeat phrase with some familiar power-guitar riffs and some archaic record scratches that make you sound even more out-of-it than you ever could have done verbally. Done.

TRACK 12: Smashit

They say what the must to gain our trust / But once the ballot’s cast they forget about us / Standing on a mountain high above the downtrodden / They forgot about Michigan like all is magnificent

Well it was a long road, but we finally made it. Last track of the album. The only possibly respectful thing I could say about this album is that it clearly would have been exactly the same no matter who won the election; but that has very sinister undertones. Because while their political ideology isn’t swayed by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, they aren’t swayed by reality at all.

It’s all just a ledger of causes their retarded fan-base can feel politically stimulated over. Does anyone believe that these wealthy hall-of-famers give a shit about “the downtrodden”? Are we supposed to believe that these has-been performers whose aging fans only respond to out of nostalgia have any real clue about the nature of the world outside of violent rhetoric and communist iconography?

If you liked this album, you may want to have your chromosomes checked.

My review: Zero out of Ten Hot Dogs. Fuck it.

HotDog0

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10 X-Mas Original Tunes to Light Your Little Yule Log

So this is Christmas and you’re sick of all the usual songs. My gift to you this season is these 10 tunes to give you something a little different. Perhaps you have heard some of them, perhaps you have not, and maybe you will hear a new favorite. You have been a mediocre boy/girl this year, thus this list is for you:

Blink 182 – Won’t be Home for Christmas:  You’ve definitely heard this one before, however that doesn’t make it less special. These guys certainly crafted a fun tune for the holiday season.

Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis: These masters of their craft have a song about Christmas in the neighborhood they grew up in and a fun video to accompany it. Have you heard/seen this? I’m guessing no, and if you did, good for you. 

Wednesday 13 – I’ll Be Buried by Christmas: If all you want for Christmas is a black casket with black velvet interior and oh yeah, a bucket of chicken, then this is the tune for you. High energy, silly, funny, it’s a fun one.

The Pogues – Fairytale of New York: This gem has the flavor of love and hate, which may be the tale of your Christmas. Who knows? I don’t, but, I know this is a good tune with a Christmas theme thrown in there.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Christmastime: This one has that essential Adore era sound from The Smashing Pumpkins a nice relaxing tune for Christmas morning. 

Motionless in White – Santa’s Pissed: Nothing wrong with having a anger fueled Christmas. This tune brings the hate with some speed, breakdowns, and a fuck ton of fucks.

The Vandals – Oi to the World: No, No Doubt didn’t make this song, but they covered it. Enjoy the original Oi for some good punk rock cheer!

Corey Taylor – X-M@$: The Slipknot/Stone Sour front man has been known to do some goof songs in his free time. Don’t expect a full on scream fest, or metal tune, however you will get an upbeat fun jam. Corey Taylor is your drunk uncle if you need one. 

Everclear – Hate You For Christmas: Yeah, yeah, oh yeah, you can guarantee this song has the signature Everclear “Yeah”, but it’s still good for a 90’s alt feel for your Christmas listening.

Dropkick Murphys – The Season’s Upon Us: You enjoy a drink, perhaps a sifter of port at Christmas? Well this one has the theme the Dropkick Murphys are going for; you’re boozing with the family. Those of us from the stereotypical American Irish-Catholic family around this time of year know it all too well.  This song is a fine tune, yet it gets better after a beverage or seven.

Side note: At any point in your life, have you been asked, “Was Santa good to you?”

I have been. And I always found it perverted. Merry Christmas!!!

Z

Alternative Christmas Jams to Spice Up Your Holidays

You have heard all of the Christmas songs over and over, year after year, and perhaps you have heard some of the covers of those songs that better strike your musical fancy. Let’s say you haven’t heard them all, don’t be a know it all, that’s not cool. Let’s put some different tunes in your ears for the Christmas season!

Check these out!

August Burns Red: These guys released an almost entirely instrumental Christmas album that absolutely SHREDS! I had a hard time picking one song off of it. The task was too difficult for me to decide, the beautiful melodies, the head banging breakdowns, and toe tapping jams, this is the album, THE ENTIRE THING, is what you’re going to listen to if you want something heavier for your holidays! 

Twisted Sister: You might want some hair metal in your holiday, or maybe you are really curious, and then incredibly surprised that Oh Come All Ye Faithful sounds almost exactly like We’re Not Gonna Take It.

Weezer: You want something smooth and chock full of ‘member, this is the album you are going to listen to. Yeah, maybe you say things like “I don’t even like Weezer anymore.” Well you can get out of here my friend! This is quite the enjoyable set of Christmas tunes.

The Killers: Like them, or not, this album has some unique videos. The video for The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball is worth a watch.

Bad Religion: A little punk rock can go a long way, and that is exactly what this fun album does. The bonus is that the last track is a remixing of American Jesus, which isn’t a Christmas song, but it is arguably the best Bad Religion song there is. Enjoy !

This article focused on albums, not single songs, we’ll do that next week. Enjoy the jams!

Z