When you read these words, bear in mind I have no clue what review I’m typing for. I’ve been trying to decide that for the last twenty-minutes, starting reviews, but only to end them a few sentences after they were started. So what am I to do? Honestly, I have no clue. I need something creative, something bold, and something original. Well, let me think on that for another few seconds, and then the review will truly commence.
Ah-ha! I have it! Rage Against The Machine’s debut, self-titled album, Rage Against The Machine
Yes, this is indeed, creative, bold, and original. Believe it, or not, this was released way back in 1992; Kurt Cobain was alive then. Frank Zappa too! Even though the band is no longer together the affects the band had are that long lasting on the minds of today! This was released not long after the end of the Reagan/Bush legacy, as well as the ending of a punk revival. Strange that Rage Against The Machine was so successful then because they represented the same thing punk did.
Vocalist Zack De La Rocha’s rap style combined with the bass grooves of Timmy C., and distorted guitar riffs/solos from Tom Morrelo made the term, rap/rock famous, and they are today one of the few who ever deserved the term. Despite the late 20th, early 21st century use of rap/rock, this album is heavily influenced upon by bands of the sixties, and seventies. The album itself is over fifty-minutes long, which is a length that had been shot to hell with by the eighties. Tim Commerford’s bass lines were obviously influenced by men such as Roger Glover (Deep Purple), and John Entwistle (The Who). He had a large hand in writing the songs, which is evident in the album opener, and fan favorite, Bombtrack
. Then there is also the classic song, Killing in the Name
where every listener could tell what a cohesive unit the string section was with the bass, and guitar going together so well to create one of rocks most memorable riffs ever; only to be outdone by the first thirty-eight seconds to the track Wake Up
. However, while Commerford’s grooves are utterly fascinating, Tom Morrelo’s playing becomes rather tedious after a while. His use of effects is cool, but seriously gets boring after a while. Zack De La Rocha’s rapping style is appreciated, and works within the music. Clearly the whole bands intention is to use the vocals to get a message across. Of rebelling, and standing up towards those higher-powered figures of the world who they claim are corrupted. Zack does this all really well, and successfully creates a mature, but angsty feeling. As Tim Commerford put it best, “We made millions off of that one line, “*** you, I won’t do what you tell me”
Clearly Rage Against The Machine
is something to be remembered, but does have its faults. As already mentioned, Tom Morrelo’s playing can become repetitive after awhile, and even annoying such as the repeating, wailing guitar note played in Fistful of Steel
. Then there is drummer Brad Wilk, who utterly fails to show any talent behind the kit. While he meets the needs of providing a rhythm, he does it in a boring fashion. Also, this album as a whole can be hard to get through in one total listen as it fairly well fails to completely grab attention because of the guitar parts. This is a great album, and had a lot of influence on a generation of music lovers, but isn’t exactly a necessity to own.
Standout Tracks: Bombtrack, Killing in the Name, Settle For Nothing, Wake Up, Township Rebellion
Kripes’ gives Rage Against The Machine’s debut album a strong recommendation.