Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fuck you!

I’m saying this to you because I assume you don’t like Rage Against the Machine. I can kind of understand your sophisticated objections on one level but on another, ie the visceral, they just don’t make any sense to me at all. What do you mean “Killing in the name of” “Bulls on Parade” and that version of “Maggie’s Farm” don’t immediately make you want to leap around smashing shit up? What’s wrong with you? In the same way that people often think you’re only pretending to like Stockhausen, I always suspect that people are only pretending NOT to like stuff like Faith No More and RATM. Plus they’re like, really political and stuff and Zack De La Rocha has one of the great voices, phenomenally, scaborously, explosively righteous.

Hence his re-emergence with “ One day as a lion” a collaboration with ex Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore has been hotly anticipated, by me and at least a million other equally deluded fools. Does it disappoint? Is it De la Rocha’s “Audioslave”?

Absolutely not. ODAAL is a change of direction to a degree, more experimental, lo-fi, less riff-y, a series of psyched-out, high pressure, propulsive jams that owe as much to 70’s New Thing! Jazz-funk as they do Nu-Metal. There’s even moments of proper singing, an almost Jane’s Addiction-y yearning lift to the chorus on “Ocean View” and “Last Letter”. Elsewhere it’s the Beasties circa “Check your head” meets Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop”. De La Rocha is on unashamedly fine form, actually putting on a Jamaican accent to half-toast the chorus to “ If you fear dying” ( sample lyric: "I’m in with the spirit of Ali Toure/ I target more heads than a priest on ash Wednesday” ) and generally laying it down with all the wide-eyed, militant ire you’ve grown to love (or otherwise) him for.

If there’s a more exciting record released this year I’ll smash my living room up. Whoops, too late!

Ok, I’ll come round and we can smash up yours together.


Dominic said...

I once had a furious and wholly pointless argument with two people who knew fuck all about guitars about whether Tom Morello was using a whammy pedal or not. They'd read the note on the first RATM album saying that no samplers or special studio effects had been used, and interpreted this to mean that Morello was somehow getting those noises out of a plain strat plugged straight into an amp - such was his genius.

I have some respect for him, though, because in addition to adding one or two interesting squerks and wheekles to the guitar trick-box, he also managed to integrate them fairly convincingly into a musical context. It's a pity Audioslave were a bit pants, really, as I also quite liked Soundgarden at the time.

Biggie Samuels said...

This is pure oneupmanship, Carl. You're just trying to top my post on Half Man Half Biscuit. Right! That's it! I'm off to write something about Chumbawamba!

For what it's worth, I (quite) like RATM, FNM and Soundgarden. I remember, at the height of Nu Metal hell, someone I worked with at the record store turning to me and saying: "All this rap metal stuff certainly makes the first RATM album sound pretty fucking great, by comparison."

Anonymous said...

chumbawamba,eh? that reminds me!