Review Summary: The next best thing to a Zack De La Rocha solo album. Overall, these are decent rap songs, but there needs to be a little more style in their sound.1 of 3 thought this review was well written
One Day As A Lion is the name of Rage Against The machine front-man Zack De La Rocha's new band. It includes Jon Theodore(The Mars Volta) on drums and Zack doing keyboards as well. The music has been described as Dr. Dre-meets-Led Zeppelin but it really can't be that awesome. Instead, what we are delivered is straight hip-hop with industrial-esque keyboards and some decent live drumming. It never really tries to push the musical boundaries of Hip-Hop, but it does add some new elements to an already formulaic genre.
Zack De La Rocha has one of the more distinct voices in both Hip-Hop and Metal. His distinctive accent and his throaty vocals make him instantly recognizable on any song he's on. He also one of the best flows I've heard. He keeps it at a mid-pace without ever trying to spit as fast as he can or slow down his rhymes for those that can't understand the lyrics. He comes correct on here, bringing his trademark flow and voice to each of these 5 tracks. His best example of rapping on here would be Wild International
where he locks his voice in over an RATM-style groove. On other tracks he distorts his voice too. He makes his presence well heard here.
The drumming on here isn't really anything to snuff at. Jon Theodore is an excellent drummer, but he manages to dumb it down here by using simple rhythms and not drawing any attention to himself. His presence is pretty minor on the album. When i said this album added new things to Hip-Hop, i meant it. If you listen well enough, there's lengthy psychedelic jams on one-two of the songs and the entire album consists of live instrumentation. While, live instrumentation has been done before(Beastie Boys), One Day As A Lion seem to keep it simple here with groovy keyboard riffs and tight, if nothing outstanding, drumming.
Overall, this is the closest you will probably ever get to seeing a solo album from Zack. After years of delaying his solo album, He comes with a 5-track EP of the next best thing. Granted, it isn't perfect and the drumming needs a little more flair, but the band could really improve in the future. Add some more songs and maybe a bass player and you've got one hell of a band. A great, if flawed, Hip-Hop cd.
Don't forget to catch One Day As A Lion's first live performance at Japan's Loudpark Festival July 31st