A few months back, I wrote a rant about Rage Against the Machine and the hypocrisy of their self-imposed exile. I blamed it mostly on Zach… okay, pretty much entirely on Zach. Now, I’m not claiming to be some sort of “prophet of Rage,” but fast forward a few months and the band is back on the road. They are currently on their “Make America Rage Again” tour… without their infamous lead singer. Thanks for proving my point, guys. I really appreciate the backup.
It’s not really Rage, and Chuck D and B-Real certainly are not Zach, but damn it, they answered the call and we need them. The situation in the USA is reaching critical mass. There are more hate groups popping up in the USA than vape shops right now. The people need a voice, and don’t get me wrong, Bernie Sanders is great, but they need a voice with a little something extra.
But, the question a lot of people ask is why do we need angry music? Well, to me, it’s not angry, it’s therapeutic. There’s something about sitting in a crowd with everyone singing, “Some of those that want forces, are the same that burn crosses,” at the top of their lungs, that’s just cathartic. You feel like there’s hope. All these people gathered and protested together, and loudly. It’s the crossfit of anger release. In a ninety-minute set, you release more energy than five days of sitting in an “occupy” rally. You leave the show feeling a weight lifted.
I can’t completely blame Rage for their absence though. It’s not their fault that music has become what it is. Don’t get me wrong, bands like Rise Against and Anti-Flag are still out there kicking it, but they don’t have the same cultural impact that Rage did. They don’t transcend their niche market to seep their message into pop culture. There’s no one countering the litany of feel-good pop-folk and light synth pop that gets spewed out on what now passes as “alternative rock” radio.
So, yes, Prophets of Rage may not be Rage Against the Machine, but they are here to ‘Make America Rage Again’ at a time when it’s most needed. Sometimes, if Batman doesn’t want to fight anymore, you have ask Robin for help and trust that he’ll get the job done too.
Written by Richard Brunette
*edited by Danielle Kenedy