R.A.T.M - The Battle Of Los Angeles
Band: Rage Against The Machine
Genre:Political, Rap, Funk, Metal
Album: The Battle Of Los Angeles
Record Label: Epic
Zack De La Rocha : Vocals
Tim Commerford: Bass
Brad Wilk: Drums
Tom Morello: Guitars
Lyrics By Zack De La Rocha
Political inspired R.A.T.M having had such an success with there debut (self - titled) album and there 2nd released album Evil Empire people thought If it were possible for them to acomplise the success they had In the past. Having not released an album in 3 years there was alot of pressure underway but most fans knew they would come back better than ever.
There Is that old saying that before R.A.T.M are about to play it feels like a bomb has gone off In the crowd this certainly was the case to the anticipation to this release.
My god what an opening this is R.A.T.M at there finest.
Tom Morello creates more catchy and weird effects backed with a nice funky bass line delivered from Tim. The song focus's on About the misrepresentation of the Gulf War by the U.S. media. It's definitely one to get your head bobbing and showed R.A.T.M after 3 years can deliver having not recorded for so long.
2. Guerrilla Radio
Easily Rage's most recognizable song and so It should be easily one of there best songs they have ever done and It really does stand out In the Album. Has a great build up to It. Zack, Tim, Brad and Tom give everything they have to this song and crafted a (Classic). Song focus's on about the worthlessness of democracy in the United States. Since the people don't truely understand choice, and are only able to grasp a small glipse of those running to represent them in office. One Of my favorite Rage songs and deserves top marks.
3. Calm Like A Bomb
Another song which stands out on the Album and has being used In the hit movie 'Matrix Reloaded'. Tom Morello use's a $80 Canadian pawn shop guitar specifically for this song. Nice opening from Tim also backed by his catchy Wah Wah effects. The solo and guitar riff's are just mind blowing and Tom really does'nt get enough credict that he really deserves.This song Is a fine example of what he is capable of. Song focus's on Zack practically lists everything he sees, sounding off a general wake up call to everyone, as well as urging them into change.
4. Mic Check
To me this song took me awhile to get use to It is quite different from Rage's loud pack a punch style. Tom said In an Interview he attempted to use different styles to the song rather than his usually style. Which can be heard as the mood In the song changes and to me it worked quite well. I really liked Zack's tone to his lyrics In this song and for once he is'ent having to scream his lungs out to get his point heard. Zack checking the mic to get the attention of the oppressed. I can imagine him on a soapbox, definately. The original version played live at the Mumia Abu-Jamal benefit in 1999 had the lyric in the chorus: "From the field, to the factory - mic check, ha ha ha!"
5. Sleep Now In The Fire
Yet Another one of Rage's most recognizable songs and with good reason because this is one of there best riff's they have done since 'Killing In The Name'. The Bass, Guitar, and Drums are spot on In this song and flow really well to zack's lyrics. Theres just something about the opening which raises everyones hair's on there neck the guitar riff followed by the 'YEAHHHHHHHH!'
The message In the song really gets to you and makes you do what zack is saying ' So raise your fist and march around just don't take what you need!'. Another Rage classic along the sides of Guerrilla Radio. This is something about Westernization/influence of capitalism and the United States on the world. Sort of like he his playing god In the song ' Iam deep Inside Your children and they'll betray you In my name'.
6. Born Of A Broken Man
To my knowledge this Is the most personal Song Zack has ever wrote it is about Zack's father's mental collapse when Zack was a younger man. Like Mic Check this is another song that took getting use to but after listening to it a good few times I realised and appreciated the song better. The guitar tone to the song Is perfect and has a great build up towards the end where Zack lets loose his rage.
7. Born As Ghosts
This is probably the worst song On the Album not to say It's a bad song!
But it's not really different it's more of a typical ( r.a.t.m song) and does'nt really offer us anything new. I like the weird guitar effect which can be heard thoughout the song and the chorus Is really catchy and In your face.
I think this song is about children born into very poor families in Mexico where they have no advantages what so ever and their lives don't matter.
"Maria" is about a woman who comes to the United States as an illegal alien and is basically murdered by her supervisor in a sweatshop. "The new line of Mason Dixon" is a reference to the US border with Mexico. Really nice Bass line and Drum beats from both Tim and Brad and Tom well it's obvious weird and very unique effects as. Has that obvious rage sound too It which most people can recognize but works quite well.
9. Voice Of the Voiceless
Now this song Is class!
The riff is so so RAGE! Tom seems to make a really really weird Bagpipes effect to the start then the drums come In with a nice easy going beat followed by a really sweet riff. This song personally really makes me appreciated R.A.T.M because it's such a R.A.T.M song but unlike Born As Ghosts this is done really well and has a really cool chorus which sticks In your head ' You'll never silence the voice of the voiceless'. The song I believe Is something to do with Mumia Abu-Jamal. The lyric "And Orwell's hell, a terror era comin true.
10: New Millennium Homes
Yet another nice bass introduction simple but catchy. New Millennium Homes is a song about capitalism and how it negatively affects the poor working class. And Zack gets this message across really well with the much recognizable (r.a.t.m) back tone to it. The song sort of reminds me of Born As Ghost's but a little more In depth musically.
11. Ashes In The Fall
Yes yes! I really like this song It seems they have mixed the style of Music around In this and It's really worked I love the opening which sounds similar to the exocist theme which gives It a really dark tone to it. The simple Bass line that flows through It really brings It together along with Zack's Lyrics which are just amazing. It really show's off his creative side and easily can assume he is a lyrical genuis. A great build up which Is bound to get you moshing If Rage had ownly done more dark songs like this.
It is my understanding that this song is about the future, after the collapse of modern society. I believe that Ashes In The Fall is a song that is about groups like political parties repackaging the same rhetoric over and over again.
12. War Within A Breath
This song Is a good going away present after listening to an whole album you expect the last song to be a nice farewell to it. This song does just that
I like Tim's use of Wah Wah In this which makes the song flow nicely. I love this chorus which Is a real smack In the face they go all out In this song and It pull's together to create a great song.The song Follow the Zapatista's example: Everything can change on a New Year's Day seize the metropolis, it's you it's built on. This is all self-explanatory. "It's land or death" is a phrase that emphasizes that land.
This was the last Album R.A.T.M did before there break up a Year later In 2000. It really show's No matter what people say or expected from them when these guys went In a studio and recorded together they produce some of the finest music of today. Zack Is a musically and Lyrical genius he does deserve alot of respect because without his politcally inspired lyrics I don't think they would of had the impact that they had. Tom Morello Is a genius And I would'nt let Zack have all the credict because This guy knows his stuff and has created some of the most beautiful sounds ever heard his style In my opinion Is flawless. Tim is a great talent though I don't think he showed as much potenial as he did In self titled and Evil Empire he can still write music to keep up with Tom's crazy stuff. Brad Is generally a really easy going drummer though he does'nt have to pull off amazingly fast roll's ect I feel his style was perfect and kept the music flow nicely. By listening to this album it's easy to assume why R.A.T.M were one of the biggest band's back In the 90's and with an overall sale of 15 Million records sold worldwide It shows why they are and will be one of the best band's around of today.
Overall review: 4/5 :thumb: