- Killing in the Name
- Take the Power Back
- Settle for Nothing
- Bullet in the Head
- Know Your Enemy
- Wake Up
- Fistful of Steel
- Township Rebellion
Probably one of the most influential albums to be released, Rage Against the Machine’s self titled debut album still sounds as fresh as it has always done. This album is only really bettered in regards to it’s cultural impact by ‘Nevermind’ back in the 90’s. When listening to the album it is hard not to strut along when walking with it on and nod along to the rap metal funk infusion that this album is.
The artwork of the album is a talking point in itself a photo of the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, in Saigon in 1963 who was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm’s administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion. It sets the tone for the rebellious political messages that the album contains.
The music in my opinion is absolutely incredible, as I have said before it stands the test of time so well. The compositions on this sound so organic and this is illustrated by the band’s statement on the artwork which says “”no samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record”.
I have always been completely blown away by Tom Morello’s guitar work, some of the sounds that he gets out of six strings, a bit of wood and an amp are amazing. It is hard to believe that he hasn’t done “something” to the sound in the studio but his work is and always has been unique with that liquid note bending ability of his.
I also enjoy the rhythm section of this band, with Brad Wilk’s pounding drums but also Tim Commerford’s fantastic baselines, they are just impossible not to tap along to, if you are a fan of funk I would heartlly recommend that you pick up a copy of this and have a listen, particularly the bass on ‘Take the Power Back’ – groovy.
Bring all of the above together with Zack de la Rocha’s powerful vocal delivery with which he spits out lyrics with so much anger about injustices in the world, from his leftist angle, but this is done with a high level of articulacy and you really do believe that he means every word.
Of course, you will all recognise ‘Killing in the Name’ which was famously UK Christmas No.1 in 2009 in protest to the monopoly that X-Factor winning contestants had with the Christmas number one’s, the royalties were given to Shelter and they held a massive thank you gig in Hyde Park the following summer. That famous refrain of “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” is legendary and one of many shout along moments on the album.
Other highlights include ‘Killing in the Name’ and that explosive outro and the riff that powers along the whole of ‘Know Your Enemy’.
If you are a fan of metal or a fan of hip hop or both, it is definitely worth listening to this, and I’m quite certain it won’t be the last time you listen to it either….