Thoughts on Rage Against the Machine

I mostly listen to alt-country and bluegrass these days (which as a teenager, I would've never believed could ever fucking happen). But every once in a while, like tonight, I'm reminded of how much I used to like Rage Against the Machine. You know, before they broke up. Tonight I was listening to their last studio album, Renegades, which is a collection of cover songs. A terrific and wildly diverse collection of cover songs. It is without a doubt my favorite Rage album. I dug all their stuff beginning with their 1992 debut, but looking back, too much of their original material seems a tad sophomoric and at times pretentious. But Renegades is just pure fun. It's an inspired grouping of covers that all showcase guitarist Tom Morello at his most wildly inventive. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same about any of the Audioslave material that followed the dissolution of Rage. Perhaps in part because Chris Cornell's voice reminds me of someone trying to sing after they've been up all night vomiting. In other words, I'm not a fan. Not that Rage vocalist Zack de la Rocha is all that golden-throated or really even that great of a rapper. But nevertheless something about the combo worked. For me at least. So basically what I'm saying is, Rage, I miss you. I know you're supposedly working on a new album. Here's hoping it's your best yet. Regardless, I'll be listening.

Now back to my Flatt and Scruggs.

8 comments :

LukeZwan at: 11:14 PM said...

Have you heard de la Rocha's "One Day as a Lion?" I really liked it.

Jason Aaron at: 11:20 PM said...

I did. But it was only 3 or 4 songs, wasn't it?

steveGREZ at: 11:25 PM said...

Battle of LA stands as my favorite Rage album. Renegades is great for many reasons-most of which is the capability to diverify a compilation of homages that range from EZ E to Bob Dylon to Cypriss Hill to Bruce Springstein and make it work!
I heard once that both BReal and Ice Cube were in the running at one point individually to take over the RATM front man gig.
What could have been, then failed horribly...

Sam Humphries at: 11:30 PM said...

I once heard de la Rocha describe RATM's ideal as a mix between Public Enemy, Sonic Youth, and Tommy Iommi.

Even if they fell short, that's a pretty badass goal.

thom dunn at: 8:32 AM said...

I enjoy Rage, though I was never TOO too into them. But I did grow up on a lot of punk rock, and also find myself listening to much more folk and bluegrass these days. I even added a lap steel guitar to my collection recently. 15-year-old Thom must be so disappointed in 25-year-old Thom.

RM Guéra at: 9:59 AM said...

Morello is one of most fascinating guitar players I heard in my life. So unique voice in his playing. And I liked them as a band. I liked the constant attempt in making the song idea compact. God knows we're working on the same thing, aren't we Jason?...

Brian Cee Williams at: 11:14 AM said...

I never really cared too much about politics in music; well, unless Dylan or a handful of old school punkers were delivering the message. Rage, though...they delivered. I know they got back together and played a few shows here and there, but the thing is, they can't fully reform again or it would mean all their past posturing would kind of be a moot point. But they're still relevant: when Audioslave played Cuba, they got a bigger pop from playing the first few measures of "Bulls on Parade" than they did for their own material. That says something, I think.

Slappy san at: 3:29 AM said...

I don't know much else to say then...I don't agree. I loved Zach just as he was. Audioslave suffered from not just having Cornell...it suffered because it wasn't RATM.

Popular Posts

Blog Archive

 

Follow by Email