Having successfully fused music and politics from their start, inspiring both moshing and young minds in the process, Rage Against the Machine emerge in peak form with merely their third album in seven years. Guitarist Tom Morello is one of the most distinctive and innovative players of his era, and his foil, vocalist/lyricist Zack De La Rocha, is as unrelenting and inspiring as ever on The Battle of Los Angeles
. Rage, whose past antics include performing naked with duct tape over their mouths to protest censorship, released Battle on Election Day in the US, but the politics of the group can be separated from the sounds. Indeed, the 45 minutes of mayhem heard here can be enjoyed solely as rousing aggro hip-hop rock. There's more variety found on Battle
than on its predecessors, however. "Sleep Now In The Fire" is one of their most straight-ahead rock tunes, while the trippy guitar on "Calm Like A Bomb" is out there even for the adventurous Morello and "Born a Broken Man" serves up lovely musical interludes. Overall, the more finely honed Rage heard on Battle
may not inspire a generation of young revolutionaries, but they still stir up more mutinous spirit than the rest of the current rock pack. --Katherine Turman
About the Artist
After the success of Rage Against The Machine's eponymous debut LP and follow-up 'Evil Empire' this third album is another hard-hitting collection of songs full of political and social consciousness. With their catchy, yet raw heavy riffs and grooves they succeeded to release another album with actual hit singles ('Guerilla Radio' and 'Testify' ). However, it proved their last album full of original material; the follow-ups contained either covers (Renegades) or live-performances. With Battle of Los Angeles, the 'triple treat' was completed. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the album at no. 423 in their 500 Greatest Albums Ever list. After several musical excursions by all members, the original Rage Against The Machine line-up performed live on various occasions in 2007, but a new studio album has yet to see the light. Like the first 2 Rage Against The Machine albums, this LP is re-issued on 180 grams vinyl.
CD Epic, 491993 2, 1999 12 Track