The Battle of Los Angeles, one of the strongest statements ever from the punky hardcore hip hop trap group Rage Against the Machine is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $2.99, as part of their $2.99 MP3 Albums promotion.
By The Battle of Los Angeles, the Rage’s third album, there was such a high confidence and tight musicality evident from the band, live and on record, it was nothing short of mindboggling. From the one-two rabbit punch bullet from a gun strains of the opening notes of “Testify,” Rage Against the Machine propels their musical manifesto of politics and personal transgressions to a pitch so hard and fast and groovy it is impossible to be ignored.
As part of Amazon’s $2.99 MP3 album deals for February 2013, Rage Against The Machine’s XX (20th Anniversary Edition) is on sale for less than $3. That’s right, for only $2.99 you can own one of my favorite albums of all time. Totally remastered for a new generation, these digital versions sound far better than the originals.
I’m not usually one for remastered albums, but I gave the first track a listen and had to take the plunge. For me, Rage Against The Machine stands out as one of the truly great rock bands of the 1990s. I always thought of them as more hardcore than rock/rap, but one thing is for sure, their music is definitely recognizable. If a RATM song is playing, you know it immediately… Tom Morello‘s wicked guitar riffs and vocalist Zach de la Rocha‘s unique voice bombard your ears and lay siege to your soul. XX is packed with political diatribes focused on capitalism, corporate greed, and governmental oppression. This is the quintessential Rage album, as it really embodies what they represent and expresses their displeasure in no uncertain terms.
A new album by Black Sabbath, the titans of doomy hard rock/heavy metal, which is cryptically titled 13, is set to be released this June. For this new album, the original band members – Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), and the madman himself Ozzy Osbourne (vocals) – be sporting a new drummer in Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine.
Produced by Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Public Enemy, Tom Petty), the album was originally supposed to be recorded by all four members of the first wave of the band, which has gone through numerous line ups in its storied, influential, and checkered history. Drummer Bill Ward, who played with the band on some of their classic releases like Paranoid, Volume 4, Master of Reality, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath to name a few, couldn’t come to terms with the rest of the band, and in May of last year, backed out of the forthcoming project and any live dates which might follow the release of the album.
Lots of sonic platters of joy are ready to be served up this holiday season, and what better gift to give someone than the universal appeal of music? During this festive time, when credit card debts mount up, layaway plans become way too unmanageable, and the stress of owing money takes charge over one’s soul and wallet as the new year turns, it’s still worth the feeling one gets when one sees someone’s eyes light up when they tear the wrapping paper off a gift, positively effused with sincere delight at its contents. We all still do it, we all get by, we grumble as the new year rolls in, but it’s all worth it; gifts are cool, no doubt, gifts never go out of style, and the end result of giving someone a gift makes it all worth it. Music was no exception this year. There were some great collections for one to gnaw on, collections which run every genre and will turn even the most hard hardened curmudgeon of a Scrooge into the softest teddy bear imaginable, even if it’s only for one holiday. My holiday box set picks are below, this one goes to eleven:
Okay, so there’s this NY Times article about the life of U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R. – Wisconsin) in which it was noted with some irony that the hard-right conservative counts Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands.
The irony is not lost on former Rage guitarist, Tom Morello. In a Rolling Stone piece, Morello sounds off about Ryan and the many reasons why Rage Against the Machine is “antithetical to the message of Rage.”