Review of Live From Metropolis Studios Album by Public Enemy

Public Enemy, one of the most important and influential hip-hop groups in history, continue their recent output (a new studio album was also released earlier this year) with 'Live From Metropolis Studios'; an album recorded live at a P.E. gig in London back in 2014, in front of an intimate audience of 125 people. With a career-spanning selection of tracks, this high-octane, hugely energetic set shows everything that Public Enemy are about; politically charged, concisely intelligent lyricism and a legendary stage show. 

Public Enemy Live From Metropolis Studios Album

The group are joined by a live band for this show, which brings the energy levels up to an unforeseen height. From the word go, Public Enemy come out swinging, with early highlights 'Rebel Without A Pause' and 'Welcome To The Terrordome' being loud, chaotic and passionate; exactly what the world loves this group for. The album takes you on a non-stop ride, and the depth of Public Enemy's catalogue allows them to maintain their impact. There are a couple of miss-steps though; the long-winded 'Black Steel In The Hour - Do You Wanna Go Our Way' isn't something I'll check for again. I'm sure the headbanging guitar solos and thrashy vibe of the track sounded great for nine minutes in the venue, it's definitely longwinded when listening from the comfort of your home though. 

The sound on this live recording is crisp and clear, the power evident on 'Bring The Noise' with in-your-face and punchy drums, raw and aggressive guitars and adrenaline-filled vocal performances, making Public Enemy's performance memorable and animated. The funky rendition of 'Don't Believe The Hype', and the tasteful, simplistic guitar lines and steady drum beat make 'He Got Game' really successful. The transition from record to on stage is seamless; a lot of the tracks on here have so much history and importance, instantly recognisable to any hip-hop head, and for the most part, hearing them delivered live makes the message clearer, and Chuck D's famously powerful voice is authoritative and decisive.

'Live From Metropolis Studios' is a thoroughly enjoyable live album from one of the most important and respected outfits in hip-hop. The intimacy of the show is retained, and the overall experience is made really enjoyable by the quality of the recording and the professionalism of Public Enemy's show. Their longevity has been helped by their busy touring schedule, and their reputation is upheld with this disc. 


Sam Bennett

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