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Rage Against the Machine Are Doing Something Cryptic (Maybe with Chuck D?)

There's a website with a countdown and we don't really know what to do.

It looks for all the world as though Rage Against The Machine are reforming and it sure looks like Public Enemy are in on it. Cryptic posters started appearing around Los Angeles over the last couple days that feature a typically Rage-y logo—fist in the air y’all!—and a website, spelled out in the typewriter font that the band adopted as their own, called prophetsofrage.com. SPIN reports that the website itself features a clock counting down to June 1 but the site now appears to have crashed after being overloaded. When it’s back up, it’ll ask visitors for an email address before taking them to an image that reads, “Clear the way for the prophets of rage,” a line from Public Enemy’s “Prophets of Rage.” The hashtag “#TakeThePowerBack” is in there for good measure, too.

Annoncering

Which is all well and good. The band have been hinting at a reunion of sorts in recent interviews, bassist Tim Commerford telling Rolling Stone, "We are still a band, and we still might play again. We don't have anything scheduled right now, but you never know what the future will bring." The threat of a new album has been ever-present since the band got back together to play shows in 2010. The band have stayed pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing, but when bassist Commerford was asked outright about putting together an album by TMZ in 2012, he responded “maybe… maybe.” Which in that context is less a “maybe” and more a “yeah, check back later.”

In the midst of an election year that’s seen the left (whatever that is now) galvanized and hashtagged up to its eyeballs—not to mention a growing, angry right-wing to push back against—a Rage reunion seems fitting. But with surprise albums now the default mode of releasing music and slogans about taking power back from #them more prevalent than ever, this doesn’t feel like the jolt to the system that Rage always shot for. The future looks more like the past than the present.

But from a musical standpoint, hearing what the band can come up with now could be hugely entertaining. Whether or not Chuck D, who’s been tweeting Rage videos for a short while in the run up to this, is going to be involved in any way is another interesting element. The assumption is that it’ll be a Public Enemy/Rage co-headline tour, but it’s fun to float the idea that Chuck was behind the desk on the record.

Either way, check back to prophetsofrage.com to see the thing in full. It won’t be down forever.

@alexrobertross