People were far too harsh on Prophets Of Rage’s debut when it was released last year. Sure, their contributions to the political discourse of the time were nothing close to revelatory and fell much shorter of the sum of its parts, but the vision and verve was there in enough capacity to do the job. With that in mind then, Powerflo come across as a sort of own-brand version of Prophets Of Rage, with vaguely political rap-metal and another Cypress Hill connection – this time Sen Dog fronts instead of B-Real – but in terms of musical pedigree, members of Biohazard, Fear Factory and Downset aren’t exactly a serious challenge against Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine.
Of course, none of that matters on an actual musical front, but on Powerflo’s new EP Bring That Shit Back, the meagre evidence of that doesn’t say a lot, with only two tracks and three remixes apiece of two others, the originals of which aren’t even here. Presumably this is designed as the more contemporary foil to Prophets Of Rage’s older, funk-flavoured sound, but this is miles away from anything of the sort. Bring That Shit Back is impossibly dated across the board, and lacking in even the moribund content it has on surface. The two new tracks do more than enough to confirm that, with Get Up Stand Up being an overweight “reworking” of the Bob Marley original, and the one repeated line in the title track doing nothing but continuously reiterating that this is, indeed, “motherfucking Powerflo”.
That leaves the coterie of remixes to attempt to successfully provide something of worth, and while they can be marginally better, relying on dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass tones that would’ve been dated in 2013, let alone 2018, ultimately caps the effect that can be had. It’s not like that was much in the first place though; the differences between the Hallucinator and Vigilante remixes of Where I Stay are negligible at best, and none of The Grind’s three renditions are worth revisiting. The only one that does any significant work is DLOW’s take on Where I Stay, with a grinding bass that accentuates some guitar strength and Sen Dog’s authoritative vocals.
But really, the most glaring issue with this EP is that Powerflo are seriously trying to convince anyone that two critically underwhelming songs and a bunch of perfunctory remixes actually constitutes a worthwhile package. Their debut only came out last year, so surely they could’ve taken some time to refine an actual collection of new material, instead of shelling out for a package next to no one will care about. It’s just not worth the time or the effort, either to listen to or for Powerflo to have conceived.
For fans of: Prophets Of Rage, Rusko, Biohazard
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Bring That Shit Back’ by Powerflo is released on 1st June.