Self titled: Rage Against the Machine

Rating: 90%

RageAgainsttheMachineRageAgainsttheMachine.jpgIn 1992, Rage Against the Machine released their self titled debut album. I must say, I had mixed feelings about this album when it was released. The radio played a censored version of “Killing in the Name Of” which became the band’s trademark song. But, when I found this album used at a pawnshop in Frederick for $1.00, the minute I listened to it, I was blown away. I never heard anything like this before. Zack de la Rocha’s vocal work is strong, Tom Morello’s guitar style is truly amazing. He makes more sounds on the guitar that I never heard before up to that point. Bassist Tim Commerford is very talented and so is drummer Brad Wilk.

Musically, Rage Against the Machine has a mixture of heavy metal riffs with rap and funk influences. Lot’s of good and upbeat tempos. There’s a balance to the metal side vs the rap side of the album. Structurally, this album is well done. The musicianship is very tight and very good.  Morello’s guitar work redefined the guitar. The bass lines are also very good. The drums are at their best. Between the three main musicians and de la Rocha vocals, which that man can sing and he can rap, makes this album a highly influential album for all time. Production wise, this album sounds great and there’s hardly no background noise. It’s almost as if the band is there with you when you listen to the album. It’s not hard to understand why this album was voted among the 1001 albums you need to hear before you die.

Lyrically, all the songs contain a political protest message or deal with social inequality. The songs “Bombtrack” is a good example of the social inequality. The song “Killing in the Name Of” is a great example of racial tensions in the country and features the word “Funk” upwards to 17 times. But, to the band’s credit, they are using it in context of the art. “Bullet in the Head” is a song about the government’s influence over the media.

Track listing:

1. “Bombtrack” 4:04
2. “Killing in the Name” 5:14
3. “Take the Power Back” 5:37
4. “Settle for Nothing” 4:48
5. “Bullet in the Head” 5:07
6. “Know Your Enemy” 4:55
7. “Wake Up” 6:04
8. “Fistful of Steel” 5:31
9. “Township Rebellion” 5:24
10. “Freedom”

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