On November 3, 1992, a bomb fell on the world of music, its intensity and impact were unimaginable and created an earthquake and utter chaos in the ears of various rock lovers. "Rage Against The Machine's" debut album has been released, creating top-notch hits that have never been seen before on planet Earth.
We will try to do it gently for fear of further flare as this album after 30 years is still very flammable.
The Los Angeles gang had no chance of succeeding. On the contrary - they had all the conditions to fail: the members of the band were from different "races", which was not customary then to play on the radio; The lyrics contained sharp and blatant political messages and despite the rise of grunge roughness something in “Rage” was even sharper and more painful. True, at the time "Body Count" was singing about killing cops and Sinéad O'Connor tore up a picture of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live," but still nothing matched what "Rage" created so their expectations were very low.
Immediately after we bought the album we realized that what we have in our hands is a dangerous explosive of the highest degree. It is very difficult to describe in words the associations that your brain produces once the image on the album cover is burned into it, in which the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc is seen going up in flames. This is a real picture: he set himself on fire at the main intersection in Saigon in 1963, in protest of Buddhist oppression. The second thing we remember is the caption on the back of the album which says:
"No samples, keyboards, or synthesizers used in the making of this record"
Until the release of this album, there was not a single band or an album that had such a large collection and such a large concentration of political and social protest messages. The band's protest was sharp, harsh, poignant, provocative, and uncompromising. Tom Morello and Zack De La Rocha argued that music crosses cultures and bridges social gaps and it is their tool for expressing their position, conveying a message, and perhaps bringing about change.
(Photo: Lindsay Brice)
"Rage" took the rhythm and groove of hip-hop with Zack, combined it with Morello's phenomenal guitar, and created a whole new sound. Zack's ripping words with the singing/preaching/rap/roar created a kind of verbal mix that went in not only through the ears but also through other holes in the body (and don't ask us which holes). Add to that the guitar with the one pick-up, which sounds like 30 guitars playing together and the strings change their shape to different and weird instruments according to Morello's fingertips. This is simply a supernatural phenomenon that needs to be investigated at the Weizmann Institute. Do not be confused - these two did not work alone. Brad Wilk is one of the great groove drummers. His bounces on the snare and pedals sometimes sound like relentless landings coming from the metal world. Tim Commerford, who sets the tone for the rhythm, actually allows Tom to run through the vast expanses of the world of sounds with the guitar close to his chest. By the way, they all said they were influenced by "Led Zeppelin", "Deep Purple" and "Black Sabbath".
The album opens with the bomb "Bombtrack", the explosive material from which it is made consists of human materials. 20 seconds from the start of Tim's scary bass line an explosion of punk and uncontrollable hip-hop takes place. The shock waves hit the body and the ground and everything starts to shake:
"Landlords and power whores on my people, they took turns
Dispute the suits, I ignite and then watch 'em burn
Burn, burn, yes, you're gonna burn! "
We're just getting started. We have not yet digested what we just heard and we feel it is necessary to stop for a moment to rest, but "The Rage" does not let go and hits us with one of the greatest passages in the band's history: "Killing in the name". The song reached the top 40 on the charts when the BBC's Radio One broadcaster accidentally broadcast the entire song, with all the "Fuck You". By the way, most of the band's songs were not broadcast in the United States, as the band members did not agree to change or censor the lyrics. But why bother with nonsense? "Fuck You, I will not do what you tell me" is one of the strongest phrases on the album (or in life at all). The song has 16 "Fuck you I will not" and one "Motherfucker". The song reached number one on the UK's Christmas parade in 2009, following a determined fan campaign. The band members did not put the lyrics of the song in the album booklet, as they thought they would not be able to convey the message properly in writing compared to the singing.
Who can stand in front of Zack shouting "Bring that shit in"? What a nervous reef explodes in his ears. Right now, with everything that has happened and is happening in the United States and right now before the election, it's just creepy and scary how relevant the song "Take the Power Back" is, as if it was written in the studio yesterday.
Wearing the shoes of a teenage boy in a troubled neighborhood. Poverty and violence close in on him from every corner and he thinks that the only solution is suicide. The bass's dramatic opening, with Brad's clicks on the ride accompanying Zack's whispers, puts us in a slight panic. "Settle for Nothing" sounds a bit calm at first, but something is brewing behind the scenes. This something is the chorus, perhaps the most aggressive and musically heavy of the band. A relentless explosion of uncontrollable rage. Once again we get a break and return to the narrative atmosphere as the chorus returns and leaves us speechless in the face of this poetic solo, which feels like unicorns hovering in the middle of a violent protest. Let's stop and move on to the next section.
The second single from the album and one of the album's other anthems: is "Bullet in the Head". Crazy musical genius. In the recurring message in the song, the band claims that the US uses the media to control the minds of the citizens, to determine their desires, attitudes, and views like a bullet in the head! This is the second song the band was supposed to sing when it was a guest on Saturday Night Live, but after hanging the USA flags upside down on the amps in the first song she was removed from the studio.
If you've not felt the urge to protest by now then here's a golden opportunity: "Know Your Enemy", with Morello's nervous riff, just sweeps us up. Zack attributes the image of the enemy to the people in power and calls on the citizens to recognize the enemy, not to trust him with closed eyes to fulfill the American dream but to demand it. says James Keenan
"We have no patience, It's time to pay the price."
The next song is one of the most groovy sections on the album. What a beauty of a combination of all the members of the Rage Quartet: "Wake Up". Musically, this is one of the great tracks on the album. The song's opening feels like a spaceship crashing into the atmosphere and immediately the rescue forces come to the rescue. Try to imagine it, Zack makes extreme use of several elements here, such as adopting a text from an FBI memo, talking about African-American discrimination, quotes from Malcolm X's speeches, and ending with a sentence from Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech:
"How long? Not long Cause what you reap is what you sow "
Morello's guitar scream opens with a heavy riff the song "Fistful of Steel". How we banged our heads and bounced our bodies in clubs to the sounds of this song. How powerful this quartet is, it is impossible to explain. On this occasion, we will mention that even if the texts do not specifically address our reality, we manage to connect to the messages of Zack, each one, and his rebellious alter ego.
Another one of Morello's charms on the guitar as he makes it sound like a frog croaking in the swamp until the chorus arrives and it becomes a deadly explosion. The familiar, beloved, and successful formula of the band! This time Zack refers to the white supremacy that has dominated all sorts of countries like South Africa and left its racist imprint.
Let’s end with a deadly cluster bomb with a half-world hit radius: “Freedom,” which closes the album and was also the fourth and final single to come out of the album. How much energy does this quartet manage to produce? Even if we repeat ourselves, that's how we feel and there is no other way to describe it. Four generators taken from one of Marvel's Avengers movies just explode in the air in perfect coordination. In this song, Zack talks about the subject of Indians in the United States, referring to the trial and imprisonment of an Indian named Leonard Peltier, who was active in the American Indian Movement and was accused of killing two FBI agents.
Wow, we have no words or energy left after this huge frenzy !!