Posts Tagged ‘Rage Against The Machine’

audioslave-51b7801809abeLast week on May 17, the world lost yet another legend as Chris Cornell died at the age of 52 in Detroit, MI. Chris Cornell left behind a legacy that is full of amazing music ranging from his time in Soundgarden to his solo career and his time in Audioslave. Chris had one of the most amazing voices in all of rock and metal music that will never be matched no matter how hard the music industry tries. For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to pay tribute to Chris by covering one of his albums and after already covering a Soundgarden I decided to cover the debut album from one of the best supergroups ever in Audioslave. The band featured Chris on vocals with the members of Rage Against The Machine in Brad Wilk (Drums), Tom Morello (Guitars), and Tim Commerford (Bass). After the album was almost sabotaged by someone close to the studio, it was finally released on November 19, 2002 (ten years after Rages debut album). The album would shoot to the top of the charts peaking at number seven on the Billboard Top 200 charts with four top five hits on the Modern Rock charts as well as landing at number 100 on the year end charts for the US Billboard top 200. The album would be certified triple platinum meaning 3 million in sales.

Audioslavebsck1.Cochise– A song that was named after Cochise, an Apache Indian starts off with a cool build up with Morello and Wilk before it explodes right into the track that is just an in your face rock anthem in the vein of what Rage sounded like. The lyrics have nothing to do with the actual Cochise, it has a lot of religious themes in it. 5/5

2. Show How Me To Live– The song keeps that Rage funk like guitar and bass riff going with Cornell’s amazing vocals. Towards the end of the song, Cornell hits his throat with the side of his hand to have an effect while he changes the pitch of his vocals. Most people think the song is religious, but I believe the song is referencing Frankenstein and his monster. 5/5

3. Gasoline– The song kind of mixes that grunge sound at first with the Rage sound before it gets a little cool with the effect on Morello’s guitar during the verses. The song seems to be about escaping whatever or where ever your are in your life. 5/5

4. What You Are– The tempo is turned down a little compared to previous tracks and it’s a track that is pretty deep about being in control of someone or something’s power. Chris was always a deep person lyrically. 5/5

5. Like A Stone– One of my favorite tracks on the album and from the band in general. The song has a very cool tempo with a sick bass line from Commerford. Cornell has described the meaning of the song’s lyrics saying, “It’s a song about concentrating on the afterlife you would hope for, rather than the normal monotheistic approach: You work really hard all your life to be a good person and a moral persona and fair and generous, and then you go to hell anyway.” 5/5

6. Set It Off– a return to the bombastic in your face Rage sound that we all love with lyrics that could be stemmed in religion or MLK. 4.5/5

7. Shadow on the Sun– Another favorite of mine from Audioslave period. The tempo is slowed down and Chris’s vocals really shine through on this track. The song’s lyrics are definitely about a relationship, heartache, and maybe even reconciliation (or maybe not). 5/5

Audioslave-Audioslave-Part-1-Cd-Cover-468488. I Am The Highway– A very cool track that also has a mellow melancholic tone to it in a track that seems to be about someone who is just fed up with life and the way that its’ going. 5/5

9. Exploder– A col funky bass line helps drive this track about a man who is going through some sort of psychosis where he is freeing himself of everything. The choruses are cool because Morello comes in with those huge power chords that are bombastic and in your face. 5/5

10. Hypnotize– A very different kind of track for Audioslave that almost has a English dub sound to it, but it features that signature solo from Morello. The song is all about sharing the wealth. 4.5/5

11. Bring Em Back Alive– The track starts with a driving metal like riff with Cornell having some cool effects on his vocals the reminds me of something Ozzy did on a Black Sabbath track. 4/5

12. Light My Way– A cool funky track that has Morello throwing some cool effects with his guitar as Cornell sings about a man who had strayed from God asking for forgiveness. The chorus has that sound you all love from Morello and co. 4.5/5

13. Getaway Car– Another slow tempo track from the band which is all about having to learn to love yourself before you can learn to love others. The track features a very bluesy solo from Morello which is cool. 4/5

14. The Last Remaining Light– The last track on the album from the band and its kind of an eerie track just from Morello’s guitar playing and Cornell’s delivery. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I honestly feel like the first nine tracks are drastically different than the last five and I don’t know if that was done on purpose, but very noticeable. Nonetheless, this was an amazing album from start to finish. It’s just very sad to know that Chris won’t be back to perform these songs or even write new material ever again. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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Rage-Against-The-Machine-Evil-EmpireThere is some really exciting news in the air and to be honest, it should really say exciting speculation. We have already seen Axl Rose reunite Guns N Roses with Slash and Duff McKagan followed by a reunion of the Misfits for Riot Fest. Now there is speculation that one of the greatest Rap Metal groups of all time in Rage Against The Machine could be the next to reunite. The group has set up a countdown clock on a website title Prophets Of Rage which you can see here. So for this week’s album of the week, we are going to be covering an album from the band and we picked the group’s sophomore effort Evil Empire. The album once again featured Zack de la Rocha (Vocals), Tom Morello (Guitars), Brad Wilk (Drums), and Tim Commerford (Bass). The album was a huge success for the band when it was released on April 16, 1996 as it would debut at number one the Billboard Top 200 charts. It would spawn a Grammy win for one track as well as two more nominations for other tracks on the album. The album has been certified triple platinum as well as going platinum in Canada and Gold in the UK. In an interview, Zack described the origin of the title of the album saying, “The title “Evil Empire” is taken from what Rage Against The Machine see as Ronald Reagan’s slander of the Soviet Union in the eighties, which the band feels could just as easily apply to the United States. Rage is currently finishing up a European tour but they’ll be back on our evil U.S. soil for a tour in late July.

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1. People Of The Sun– The second single released off of the album that starts with the cool guitar riff followed with the amazing bass playing of Commerford in a track that is about the Zapatista Revolution. 5/5

2. Bulls On Parade– One of the most amazing Rage Against The Machine songs with that bombastic in your face riff and the bass playing from Commerford is amazing in a track about the corrupt government. The song also featured that world famous solo that sounds like a DJ is scratching.  5/5

3. Vietnow– The third and final single off the album whose riff sounds very similar to The Wanton Song by Led Zeppelin. The track attacks right wing AM radio shows hosted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Oliver North, etc. 5/5

4. Revolver– Some unique sounds open the track into another funk filled riff whose lyrics speak of spousal abuse. 4/5

5. Snakecharmer– An interesting track that is never outdated considering the subject matter and what is currently happening with elections in 2016. The track is about politicians who will lie in order to charm you for your vote. 4.5/5

6. Tire Me– This is the only track on the album that won a grammy for Best Metal Performance even though it was never released as a single. Zack has claimed that the song was written to celebrate the death of Richard Nixon. 4/5

Rage_Against_The_Machine-Evil_Empire-CD7. Down Rodeo– One of my favorite tracks on the record whose lyrics deal with social and finiacial inequalities in America and the social class warfare. The song has lyrics that say, “So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo with a shotgun, These people ain’t seen a brown skin man, Since their grandparents bought one.” Rodeo as in Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills where all the rich people live and how it’s all white. 5/5

8. Without a Face– A song with a dope bass line from Commerford that is almost G Funk like in a track that deals with immigration and other social issues an immigrant deals with in the US. 4/5

9. Wind Below– a track with a cool bass line that refrences the NAFTA agreement as well as the Zapatistas and a story written by Subcommandante Marcos, entitled A Storm and A Prophecy  in which it references the section titled The Second Wind: A Wind from Below. 4/5

10. Roll Right– An interesting track from the band that sounds different from the rest of the album, but I like it. It’s a track that looks at various social issues and corrupt governments. 4/5

11. Year Of The Boomerang– The last song on the album that looks at the representation of minorities as far as racism, sexism, and colonialism. The title of the track references a speech that Algerian Revolutionary Franz Fanton had made. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– When it comes to politically charged music, Rage was definitely the best of the best as these guys were radical. While the first record was phenomenal, this album put them on the map. This album made me take notice of who they were as it was the first Rage record I ever owned. I am going to give the album 4.4 stars our of five for a final grade.

There are always issues in the cinematic world that are constantly debated all the time like which version of a movie is better; The American Hollywood version or the international version (usually the original)? In 1998, Tri-Star pictures released the abomination known as Godzilla (recognized by the Japanese as Zilla) which was a box office flop and the reason that the original version was better than the American counterpart. The only redeeming factor of this film was the soundtrack which was also hit or miss, but it contained a true gem in it. That true gem that I am talking about comes from politically charged Rap Rock legends Rage Against The Machine and their equally political charged track No Shelter. Despite that the song is the purest example of what Rage Against The Machine was all about, it did contain one line in it, “Godzilla, pure motherfucking filler, get your eyes off the real killer.” Which may have qualified it for this film. The song was first featured on the soundtrack before it was released as a bonus track for The Battle Of Los Angeles. Check it out below:

 

the fat of the landI am going a little outside the box this week for the album of the week post, but there is a reason behind my madness as you will undoubtedly see. I was a bar/restaurant when I recognized a song from a electronic dance music band from back in the 90’s and I instantly felt nostalgic. The DJ at the bar threw on Firestarter by English big beat/electronic… band Prodigy and I instantly knew what album I wanted to cover for today. Along with bands like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Prodigy helped pioneer the big beat genre (because it sounded similar to Acid House music) that everyone grew to love in the mid to late 90’s here in the states. The band mixed the big beat with electronic rock and punk sounds to create their iconic sound which was eaten up by kids here that loved Industrial music and techno music. The group at the time of the release of The Fat Of The Land which I am covering today was made up of Keith Flint (Vocals), Liam Howlett (Keyboards, synthesizers, sampling, programming), and Maxim Reality (Vocals). The album supposedly also features Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam/Soundgarden on it as well. The album peaked at both number one in the UK and the US Billboard Top 200 charts making it a huge success for the group as it eventually went 2X platinum in the states.

1. Smack My Bitch Up– This was one of the most controversial songs on the record because critics often called it Misogynistic in nature due to the title of the song being repeated throughout the track. The track features a bunch of samples from various artists like Rage Against The Machine (Bulls On Parade) and it even features the rap from Kool Keith in the Ultramagnetic MCs song Give The Drummer Some. 5/5

the_prodigy_-_the_fat_of_the_land_-_cd2. Breathe– This is such an iconic track from the album that has been featured in countless movies just because of the beat in the track. The song has that Industrial sound to it that was hit all around the world. 5/5

3. Diesel Power– This is a electronic dance track with a hip hop flare to it as Kool Keith raps over the track. 4/5

4. Funky Shit– The track features vocals sampled from Root Down by the Beastie Boys while the horn you’ll hear is from the Theme From S.W.A.T. track from Rhythm Heritage, and it also features samples from 2, 3, Break by The B-Boys. 4/5

5. Serial Thrilla– This track is pretty cool as it samples Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana with Selling Jesus by Skunk Anansie with Keith Flint on vocals. 4/5

6. Mindfields– The main riff of the track is sampled from the James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun as they use John Barry’s Hip’s Trip. 4/5

The_Prodigy-The_Fat_Of_The_Land_Japan-Back-7. Narayan– This is a pretty good electronic dance track that features Crispian Mills on vocals. 4/5

8. Firestarter– Another famous track off the album that samples the track S.O.S. by The Breeders as well as Close (To The Edit) by Art Of Noise.The track also showcases Flint’s punky vocal style which became iconic of the group. 5/5

9. Climbatize– The main riff of the track is from The Horn Track by Egyptian Empire and it also features the main drum loop from Air Drums from Outer Bongolia by The Jedi Knights. There is some controversy that surrounds this track because Prodigy didn’t get permission to use the drum loop so The Jedi Knights threatened to sue the band. The band’s label found out that The Jedi Knights used the drum loop from another band without permission so the label bought the rights to the Incredible Bongo Band track and turned around and threatened to sue The Jedi Knights. George Lucas found out about this and he threatened to sue The Jedi Knights for stealing the name he created. 4/5

10. Fuel My Fire– This is Prodigy’s cover of the L7 track that features Saffron on vocals and Gizz Butt on Guitar. 4/5

My Final Thoughts- These guys were definitely pioneers of their time as they brought this type of music to the forefront of the pop charts. Much like today’s EDM movement, they took over the charts at the time. This is a great album tat if you’re looking to get into this stuff, start here. I am giving the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

Just_Another_VictimYou have to think back to the time of the release of today’s Soundtrack Saturday film and wonder how influential was this soundtrack in the future events to come. The Judgment Night soundtrack was released on September 14, 1993 and it featured some of the biggest names in rock and metal doing tracks with some of the biggest rap artists of the time as well. You had Slayer doing a cover track with Ice-T, Faith No More doing a song with Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., and even Living Colour doing a track with Run DMC. In 1993, bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against The Machine hadn’t even released their first albums or had any popularity at the time, but critics everywhere ranted and raved about this soundtrack that maybe it did influence labels to start signing bands like this to create the eventual Nu-Metal genre. Nevertheless, is is a question worth thinking about if you want to get to the nitty gritty of how things got started. The track that I am using from the Judgement Night soundtrack is the track that features the band Helmet doing the song Just Another Victim with House Of Pain which featured future Limp Bizkit turntablist DJ Lethal. The track had the right kind of grooves that would be the template for the Nu-Metal genre as Page Hamilton sings most of the verses with Everlast and co. on the choruses. That is until later on in the song when Everlast takes over the mic and spits the rhymes like only Everlast can. Kerrang! Magazine placed the track at number 4 on their 666 Songs You Must Own (Crossover) list. Check out the song below and check out the soundtrack while you’re at it.

primusFor the album that I chose for this week’s album of the week, I wanted to go outside my tastes a little so that I could expand my horizons musically. Plus, I have a lot of respect for Primus bassist/lead singer Les Claypool who may be the best bassist out there in the metal world. The man has done great things for the bass guitar as many have done for the electric guitar. I chose the album Antipop because it was the very album the band was supporting when I saw them on Ozzfest 1999 with Buckethead (Note: Buckethead is not credited on the album). The album features lots of musical guests from Tom Morello to James Hetfield of Metallica as well as some guests also producing tracks on the record. It was the band’s sixth studio album, it was the last to feature drummer Bryan Mantia, and it would be their last until 2011’s Green Naugahyde. When talking about the record Les has stated, “Antipop was the most difficult record we ever made, because there was a lot of tension between the three of us, and there was some doubt at the label as to whether we knew what the hell we were doing anymore. But there was some great things to come out of it, like the tune we did with Tom Waits, ‘Coattails of a Dead Man’. I love that song.” The album peaked at number 44 on the billboard top 200 charts and unfortunately songs from this record are rarely ever played live.

1. Intro- The intro is only 17 seconds long and it features Tom Waits.

2. Electric Uncle Sam– The track has an intro to it, but once the music kicks in it’s like a funk metal party that rocks. The track is about The Man and you shouldn’t be surprised as it was co-written and features Tom Morello on it. 5/5

antipop back3. Natural Joe– This is a track that is co-produced by Matt Stone of South Park fame and it’s another bass driven funktastic track that is about how people aren’t always what they appear to be. 4/5

4. Lacquer Head– This is a track that was produced by Fred Durst which the three verses in it are all about three different kids who puff on inhalants and the harm that comes to them from doing it. Fred has said that he wanted Primus to go back to their heavier sound and it worked. The track is amazing with a thumping bass line. 5/5

5. The Antipop– The track starts off real slow and with an eerie bass line in the beginning and then Mantia’s amazing drumming comes in before the song kicks into overdrive about being Anti-pop because pop music is just bland and not compromising just to get on the radio 4/5

6. Eclectic Electric– This is the track that features Jim Martin (ex-Faith No More) and James Hetfield (Metallica) playing guitar on the song and it’s another track that starts off slow as it is an 8 minute track. The track seems to be different stages of someone not being able to grow up. 4/5

7.  Greet the Sacred Cow– At first there is something playing in the beginning that sounds like praying in the Middle East before the music kicks in with a middle eastern flavor to the guitars, but in the chorus they get heavy. 4/5

antipop cd8. Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool-This is definitely a bad ass rock song with a little more guitars thanks to the fact that it is the second track to feature Tom Morello playing guitar and producing os it has that rock/rap flavor to it. 4/5

9.  Dirty Drowning Man– The track starts off with some crazy bass beats from Les before it settles down during the verses in a track that is about calling out to see who your real friends are. The track features Martina Topley-Bird on it and it was produced by Stewart Copeland 4/5

10. Ballad of Bodacious– a bluesy guitar track with funky bass riffs in a track that is about a bull (I think). 4/5

11. Power Mad– This is the third and last track that features Tom Morello’s guitar work and production in a track that talks about various presidents of the US that were power mad. 4/5

12. The Final Voyage of the Liquid Sky– When the track first starts you feel like you are in space and then Les’s creativity comes in with his opening bass riff and then the funk starts in a track that is about going against the grain. 4/5

13. Coattails of a Dead Man– Surprisingly that someone had the balls to do it, but the song is essentially about Courtney Love ridding the coattails of Kurt Cobain. The song features vocals from Tom Waits and Martina Topley-Bird. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I have to say that back in the day, I didn’t understand the craze behind Primus, but after listening to this album and loving the guitar, I have a whole new found respect for Primus and what they were doing and still are doing. I really liked the album and enjoyed listening to the creativity that is displayed on it. I am going to give the album four stars out of five for a final grade.

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Tom Morello has worked with so many artists in his day spanning genres whether it be with his groups Rage Against The Machine, The Nightwatchmen, Street Sweeper Social Club, or Audioslave. He has also worked with artists like Bruce Springsteen, Primus, Johnny Cash, Cypress Hill, Device, Linkin Park, and now he can add GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan to that list. GZA along with Morello, Hanni El Khatib, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson for a funky cover of Babe Ruth’s The Mexican and I chose the song for this week’s cover of the week. The song was covered in the 80’s by a band called Jellyfish, but this version is more like a re-imagining. What I love about the song is the flamenco guitars in the beginning before the song gets funky with GZA laying down some fresh lyrics with Morello’s guitar skills on the track as well. The song is a stand alone track so I believe it won’t be featured on GZA’s new album that he is working on called Dark Matter. This is an amazing cover of the song and if you’re into Morello’s playing then you’ll get his signature style on the track during the solo. You can download the track directly from Soundcloud if you like it, otherwise check out the track below.