Review #110: (Classic Album) Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine (self-titled)

Artist – Rage Against The Machine
Album – Rage Against The Machine (self-titled)

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Rage Against The Machine (RATM) are a rap metal band from California, USA. The band consists of Zack de la Rocha – vocals, Tom Morello – guitar, Tim Commerford – bass/vocals and Brad Wilk – drums. RATM gained popularity because of their political views/lyrics, hit songs (Bulls on Parade, Killing in the Name), their energetic live shows and their guitar player (Tom Morellos) unique way of playing his instrument. Usually rock/metal bands are influenced by other rock/metal bands, and although i’m sure RATM are influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin etc they state their main influences as being hip-hop artists, such as Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys, which has formed their unique sound. In 2000 the band split, Zack moving onto a solo career and the rest forming Audioslave with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. Then in 2007 they reformed, performing shows up until 2011.

Rage Against The Machines most highly praised album was and still is their debut self-titled album. ‘Rage Against The Machine’ includes many of the bands most popular songs and most innovative in many ways, setting the stage for what was to come and introducing their incredible new sound/style. In ‘Bullet In The Head’ we hear Tom Morellos signature guitar scratching technique, mixed with the killswitch ability he installed on numerous guitar, displaying his love of DJing and setting him apart from every other rock guitarist. ‘Bombtrack’ opens with a classic Morello riff, which then goes into an incredibly groove ridden verse, written/played expertly by Brad (drums) and Tim (bass), creating that bouncy feeling that hip-hop has and leaving enough space for Zack to fit his lyrical wordplay in between. ‘Killing In The Name Of’ is probably the most well known song on this album, in part due to the campaign one music lover took to have it beat X Factors latest single to the christmas number one. This song is the antithesis of rebellion and protest, subjects that the band continued to write about through their career, it features one simple but powerfully delivered line which summed up this incredible debut ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me’.

‘Rage Against The Machine’ is an incredibly emotive album, from lyrics to the album cover, of which is a photo of a Vietnamese Buddhist whom set himself on fire in protest of religious oppression. This is a must listen album which does not relate to just one genre, it relates to metal lovers, hip-hop lovers and anybody that disagrees with the way their country is run.

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