Rage Against the Machine
The Battle of Los Angeles


4.0
excellent

Review

by DesolationRow USER (80 Reviews)
September 16th, 2005 | 157 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


Rage Against the Machine- Battle of Los Angeles


“Whatcha say, Whatcha say, Whatcha say, what? I’m Calm Like a Bomb!"………


…I’ve never been a stranger to Rage Against the Machine’s music. I can vividly picture me as a 9-year-old, seeing the music videos for ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’ and ‘Killing in the Name’, jumping and chanting along. But, it was only recently that I discovered the raw, incendiary power of Rage’s music. So, about 8 months ago, a friend recommended their self titled, because of ‘Bombtrack’. My liking took off from there. The blend of jagged rapping, thundering bass, hip hop like drums, and radical, yet simple guitar riffs hooked me and since then, it hasn’t stopped. Rage has always followed a certain formula for their songs. It usually consists of ridiculously catchy riffing, guitar solos, standout bass, and fiery choruses. This album is absolutely no exception to that formula. But it works, nonetheless, and it won’t get tiring (at least on the good tracks). The album seems to be a blend of some incredible songs, and some pure, nonfat filler. The earlier are more present at the very beginning and the very end. I highly doubt you want me to continue typing these paragraphs, so I’ll begin.

The first three tracks are probably some of the best songs Rage has ever put out. I truly don’t want to be biased or ‘fan-boyish’ by any means, but it’s true. From my personal favorite Rage song, the albums opener, “Testify" and its earth shattering chorus, to “Calm Like a Bomb" and its no-frills funk/rap pure snot-nosed attitude. The earlier of the two, ‘Testify’ is my favorite RATM song, just for the energy of the riff blended in with Zack’s vocals. The latter is an effect heavy song, with a crunchy wah bassline and palm scratched guitar melodies. “Guerilla Radio" is undoubtedly Rage’s most commercialized song off of this particular album, and it’s fire breathing chorus, ‘Lights out! Guerilla Radio….turn that sh*t up!’ is still being heard the world over. Once again, Zack’s far left-winged views completely attack our government. However, I can’t help it but be somewhat turned off by the preaching of the fall of capitalism, when in truth, Rage Against the Machine was signed to Epic Records, a sub-division of Sony, which is by far, the most capitalistic corporation today. That’s a tad of irony for you, and it was deceiving and hypocritical on Rage’s part.

“Mic Check" and “Maria" are somewhat different from the others. Stylistically, ‘Mic Check’ isn’t as formulated as the other songs, and isn’t a handful of catchy riffs, but tempo shifts, as well as mellow points. Lyrically, ‘Maria’ is unique because of it’s story line. As opposed to the usual attack on our Democracy, Zack’s lyrics portray an immigrant who works in a sweat shop in the U.S. and is later murdered. While these songs are indeed standout tracks for their unique features that set them apart from the others for diversity, the song-writing is nothing more than slightly, just above average. Grade wise, they’d score a C+ or B-.

The energetic, fist pumping songs far surpass the downshifted, personal songs. There is undoubtedly ever present filler through a good portion of the album. Not everyone will agree with me on that matter, because I view ‘Born of a Broken Man’ to be a valued story, but it doesn’t sit well with me in the song. Musically, it lacks the ingredient to keep my attention focused on all aspects of the music. On the contrary, ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’ might be a little more stretched out, lyrically, but the perfection of the rhythm section and Tom’s riffing catches my eardrums. ‘Born as Ghosts’ is quite possibly the worst song Rage Against the Machine has ever written, as musically, it’s bland and average, and lyrically, it isn’t any fresh idea, other than giving the finger to someone. ‘New Millennium Homes’ also tracks in as filler, and I’m not going to bother repeating myself. It lacks the qualities of a good song.

It is not the case however, that most of the album us bad, except for the first 4 or 5 songs. The last few tracks are quite good, in my opinion. “Voice of the Voiceless", being the first of the 4, with the exception of the horrible “New Millennium Homes’ kicks off a great outro with an upbeat, jangly song, but is serious in getting its message across. “You’ll never silence the voice of the voiceless" suggests an attack on the wealthier portion of society for gaining more power than those less fortunate. ‘Ashes in the Fall’ is a more personal matter, but still a great song. The riffing in it is very hooky, and you’ll probably get the riff later in the song stuck in your head, like the one from “Bullet in the Head". I don’t care what anyone says about “War Within a Breath", I actually like the song. The intro features a fancy wah-wah bass effect, but sounds almost flanged. The riff picks up from there until Zack screams “This of land of death. War within a breath!" All in all, I thought it was a very good choice for a closing song.

Overall, I thought it was a great album. There are certainly flaws within a few songs, but the others make up for what the bad songs lack. There are two poles here, being completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
There are the amazing songs, which revolutionized the bands popularity, and there are the really UBER crappy songs.I was a little sad while listening to this for the first time, knowing it was Rage’s final original album. Released in 1999, Zack quit Rage Against the Machine in October, 2000. Renegades was released 2 months after. Hope you liked the review!

Grade: 4/5



Rage Against the Machine- Battle of Los Angeles (1999)

Rage was

Zack De La Rocha- Vocals/ lyrics
Tom Morello- Guitars
Brad Wilk- Drums
Y tim K- Bass


All sounds made by guitar, bass, drums, and voices!!!

PS- Feedback is highly praised. Vote my review for ‘Cheesiest review intro ever’.
We should really have a Sputnik Award Show. :thumb:



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user ratings (2523)
Chart.
4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
2muchket!
September 16th 2005


900 Comments


Good review a friend of mine lent me this album and I love it the energy RATM put out is superb with some other artists I always thought they recorded them half hertedly not rage however. I think you slightly over looked born of a broken man it's a good song and personal to Zack.

4.5/5

mranti
September 16th 2005


50 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rage against the machine is definitly one of the best out there, but i found "evil empire" and this one to get very redundent towards the end. they're a great band, but they never had much diversity in my opinion. i guess that's where audioslave comes in at. good review by the way.

fatallyyours84
September 16th 2005


27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

IMO the best album Rage put out. Sleep now in the fire is my favorite song theyve done. nice review

kolzig33189
September 16th 2005


335 Comments


agree with everything except the three best songs out there. killing in the name of is def one of their top 3

Chilly-Bean-Bop
September 16th 2005


344 Comments


great review. i listen to this cd every day....i love it so much.

Thor
September 16th 2005


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've probably listened to this album 300 times, no kidding. It's the first album that got me into rock. Good review too.

Taxman
September 17th 2005


82 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

who controls the past now controls the future, who controls the present now, controls the past

the orwellian dream straight from RATM

best song eva



_unknownST
September 17th 2005


256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

as i said on sum of my other comments RATM rule amazin album, amazin review best song is sleep now in the fire

I'm Charming
October 7th 2005


332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their second best album, their first one (self titled) is better.

The best songs are, IMO, "Sleep now in the fire" and "War Within A Breath"

"Born Of A Broken Man" is also really good.



Jawaharal
October 7th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album is good

Aakon_Keetreh
October 8th 2005


448 Comments


this album is very awsome, i liked it very much

I'm Charming
October 8th 2005


332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to the whole thing last night, start to finish. My first thought once it was over was, theres some really good lead guitar on this album.

_unknownST
October 9th 2005


256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i still think after listening a lot recently to it, it is their best album

Thor
October 9th 2005


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^
You sir, are most definetly wrong.

_unknownST
October 9th 2005


256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

when were they banned in the U.S of A?

cbmartinez
October 9th 2005


2525 Comments


This album is excellent. Not as good as the s/t but definitely great. I've kind of forgotten about Rage with all the music I've been listening to lately but I listened to them a couple weeks ago and I remembered how fucking incredible they were. They had so much groove, it's just impossible not to get into the songs and jump around. No matter how much music I get into, Rage will always be one of my favorite bands.

Jawaharal
October 9th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

calm like a bomb is the only really good song on here. Everything else is just good or decent. S/T is pwnage to the max

Thor
October 9th 2005


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^
I will agree that Calm Like a Bomb is the best song on the album, I do think that there are are some other awesome songs on the album. They would include: Testify, Mic Check, Sleep Now in the Fire, Born of a Broken Man, and Ashes in the Fall.

I'm Charming
October 9th 2005


332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheeto-t,

How can you rate the album 3 stars if theres only 1 good song on it?

Storm In A Teacup
October 9th 2005


13191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Everything else is just GOOD or decent-Cheeto-T

How can you rate the album 3 stars if theres only 1 GOOD song on it?-Man Made God



Read more carefully next time MMG. :-/



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