Recorded live in a studio in a suburb of London, Live from the Metropolis Studios
appeared just a few months after Public Enemy's muscular 2015 studio effort Man Plans, God Laughs
, so there's nothing from that album here. That said, this double-disc live album -- which is accompanied by a longer home video release, including a documentary -- isn't fixated on the past. To be sure, PE thread in their big hits -- "911 Is a Joke" and "Welcome to the Terrordome" come early, "Night of the Living Baseheads" and "Fight the Power" show up later -- but there are sharp selections from deep in the catalog (including the title track to Spike Lee
's "He Got Game"), and the proceedings conclude with "Harder Than You Think," the 2007 single that became their biggest-ever hit in the U.K. What impresses is both the depth of the songbook plus the vigorous, sinewy attack. As they bear down on their 30th anniversary, Public Enemy may no longer sound like young men but they're canny, muscled survivors, a group intent to preach thegospel until they die with their boots on.