Friday, July 21, 2006

FDF Volume 1 Issue 21:-Rage Against the Machine - Self Titled

Album - Rage Against the Machine
Artist - Rage Against the Machine
Key Players Tom Morello - guitar, Tim Commerford - bass, Brad Wilk -drums, Zack de la Rocha - vocals.
Produced by - Rage Against the Machine and GGGarth.

Release Date: November 10, 1992

Overview - Tom Morello was in band called Lock Up when he saw de la Rocha rapping and asked him to join a new band. Brad had tried out for Toms old band and Tim was a friend of Zacks. The band was then formed. The band took their name from an unreleased album by Zacks former band Inside Out. The band toiled around some and was eventually signed to Epic Records. The band went with Epic since they were given the most control with their work. The debut was released in late 1992. The band, known for its intense live shows played now famous sets on Saturday Night Live (cut to one song after they tired to hang a US Flag Upside down in protest of host and presidential hopeful Steve Forbes), Woodstock 1999 in which Tim set the US Flag on fire. Playing outside the Democratic National Convention and on Wall Street in 2000 and a show in which they never really sang or played but in which they stood nude with duct tape over their mouths and the letters PRMC painted on each of their chests. Rage Against the Machine are considered to be the pioneers of the hard rock/rap genre. The band continued to release studio and live albums until their demise in October of 2000 when de la Rocha released the statement stating that the bands decision making process had failed and it was no longer meeting the aspirations of the four members.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The 10 tracks that make up this debut are technically sound. The band even wrote in the liner notes that no samples, keyboards or synthesizers were used in the recording. Tom Morello made a name for himself right away with some very technical guitar work. "Bombtrack" opens the records with a chugging repetitive bass line from Tim. Wilk gives a few whaps to the floor tom and we get the first of a few thousand "UUUUUHS" from de la Rocha. "Killing in the Name" a RATM staple wastes no time in getting in your face. After a few cowbell raps from Wilk the band falls in to a heavy 4x4 time. What is surprising is that radio (at least around Boston) still attempts to play this song. The final line of the song (repeated shouting almost ad nasuem) Is "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me". Rumor has it comedian Bill Hicks ended his final show with this song playing and just running around the stage flipping people off..ahhh classic Hicks. "Take the Power Back" has a punchy bass intro, Morello does some swooping loops over top, de la Rocha shouts "Bring that Shit in" and the band does.
"Know Your Enemy" contains all the elements of the perfect RATM song. The melodic bass line, the hard driving drums and the staccato guitar work with a lot of crazy slides by Morello. Maynard James Keenan of Tool sings backup on the track but its not even back up in so much as he takes over vocal duties completely at the end of the song. This song also contains a line of lyrics I always felt was synonymous with the band "cause i'll rip the mike, rip the stage, rip the system I was born to rage against 'em. The album ends with perhaps their finest live song as well as a top 5 album closer in "Freedom". The pinnacle of the song comes towards the end when the line is whispered "Your Anger is a Gift" and de la Rocha screams and sings "awwwwwwww bring that shit in". The band explodes around him and the bands beats the tar our of their gear to hammer their point home. One hell of a rock and roll the feedback fades out the record ends. Granted this is not a record I'd play for my mom but if I was ever involved in a tri-state high speed chase I hope this is blasting on the stereo.

Where are they now?
Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk are now in Audioslave with former Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell. de la Rocha released a radio single in 2004 called "We Want it All" and has been "working on a solo record".

FDF Personal Comments (aka the live experience)- I saw them twice. The first was July 17, 1993 during Lollapalooza. Tool was on the same bill..the headliner, Alice in Chains. The second time was August 21, 1997. That show was memorable on a few levels. The first, it was the first "big show" i had been to that concert t-shirts were $10.00. The other (well the night was full of memories) was the fact the show was cancelled, back on, cancelled, back on about 6 times. The night before Zack had broken his foot in New York. They cancelled Boston but then decided to go for it. Well they decided, from what I gather to "go for it" but were leaving NYC at something like 6pm. Atari Teenage Riot played, then the Wu Tang Clan. That was one of the most horrible experiences I have ever dealt with. I read a few weeks later that the Wu Tang Clan would have had a 35 minute set, due to the situation they played for about 1hr and 45 minutes. There were 7 guys on stage SCREEEEEEEEEEAMING. Put up my hands, show my Wu Wings, do this, give me a hell yeah. It was BRUTAL. Now all the while rumors are going around that Rage is going to still cancel. I am tempted to leave. How can they have the place full (18,000)+ and then at 1030pm say "nope". Also this venue has a strict curfew of 11pm. Something like 1000.00 a minute over curfew. They had to have worked some magic because the PA announcer finally came on and said RATM was coming and they'd play a full set. Ho-lee crap. I never ever saw a stage get turned over so fast (that is geek speak for the next band setting up). I'd say it was 10 minutes..tops. About 10:55 pm Rage hit the stage. Even with Zack in an orthopedic boot he still gave it his all. To this day one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.

FDF Overall Take - Considered to be the pioneers of the hard rock/rap genre they did have their imitators but never their duplicators. The language and the subject matter are very heavy on this record but the payoff is a hard rocking masterpiece.


At 9:42 AM, Blogger The Guinness Tooth said...

I read a while back that Zack has been playing shows on and on in the LA area recently. He doesn't go by his name. He doesn't rap. He doesn't sing in english. And he plays guitar. He's been playing spanish folk songs and crap like that at rallies of various sorts. It's taken him a long time to get his act together. I have a feeling he's going to be the next Axl Rose, and take about 12 years to put out an album.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Annoyed said...

I attended lollapalooza in '93.... I only remember Alice in Chains, LOL

I guess I saw Rage too!

This album is good... I LOVE "Battle of L.A."

I think it all came together on that album...right in time for the break up

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

Are you reading my mind? I've been listening to this album for the past two weeks after 'finding' it in a box in my closet.

I also saw them at Lollapalooza. I also remember Tool being there.

I also saw them another time and got too close to the mosh pit and came home with a black eye and a bruised foot.

Fun times.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

fresh - yes..I am..and I can't print what you are thinking now.

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous kp said...

I remember buying this and Undertow on cassette tape and the rest as they say is history. I also remember hearing "Killing in the Name" on the radio and then being flabbergasted when I heard the real version. My virgin ears would never be the same.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Debbie said...

dirty dirty


At 2:33 PM, Blogger The Guinness Tooth said...

I seem to recall the stations in my area not bothering to edit "killing in the name of" for broadcast. They'd give a warning, and then play it. Then I didn't hear it on the radio for a long time, and one of the stations went off the air? Connection? Conspiracy? Who knows?


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