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Jul-28-2008 15:56TweetFollow @OregonNews
de la Rocha Rages on With New AlbumTim King Salem-News.com
A band that shocks and rocks, Rage Against the Machine, sees band members launch a new album; "One Day as a Lion."
(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) - With all the political tension gripping this nation, it seems only right that the voice of Rage Against the Machine would emerge with a new album release. There is not a voice in the rock world that takes on Zack de la Rocha when it comes to world politics.
But this is not Rage Against the Machine; this is One Day As A Lion. The band has an unmistakable sound but that stands to reason with De La Rocha's vocals. My understanding via a Los Angeles DJ, is that there was graffiti sprayed and later photographed in LA that read, "It is better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand days as a lamb." I can appreciate it.
In the 60's, songs against the war were written with a vanished degree of innocence. Lyrics inquired as to where the flowers had gone and talked about the answers blowing in the wind. RATM was never innocent sounding, hence the name of the band, but like those that came before them they are justifiably poetic and contemporary and the hardcore LA influence hits you like a bomb track every time to fire off one of their songs.
And they have been doing it for twenty years, which hardly seems possible. I often tell people how few aspects of culture have changed radically since the late 1980's. Sure we have changed and progressed, but when compared to the distinctive decades of the 40', 50's and 60's, there is nothing outwardly different that really jumps out at you between 1988 and 2008.
Except of course, for the spirit of our nation. It took one day and the deaths of 2,974 to turn this country on its head. We have allowed a presidential administration to rob us of our ideals and freedom and even our honor in many respects. People either take the conservative route and state repeatedly that everything Bush has done was correct and right, or they are with almost everyone else on the other side of the aisle still hardly able to believe that this self-appointed "War President" ever had the opportunity to change and skew things so completely.
Northwest Behind Schedule
There is no doubt that Oregon radio stations get the new releases long after they show up in places like LA and New York. The station I grew up in LA listening to; The World Famous KROQ has been blasting the new song Wild International for the last several days, and anyone who considers themselves to be a RATM fan will love it.
Then there are the other Americans, lots of them, who still have not given an inch toward this type of music and they have no idea who Rage Against the Machine is or was, other than by name. Let's just put it this way; the music that these guys play is something that over time, adjusts to a person's liking. I didn't like the band when they first came out, but I also was not very open-minded then, having recently been a Marine particularly. It didn't work for me because white guys rapping didn't work for me, but over time I began to love it.
The RATM song that did it for me is Killing in the Name. Like many others in this red white and blue land, I believe that racism is one of the nation's biggest problems, along with greed and indifference and religious manipulation for profit. There are no good excuses for any of it. Lyrics like "Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses" hauled me into the Rage Against the Machine camp and I never went back.
It is hard and fast and you basically need to read the lyrics to know what they are a lot of the time, but that is part of the experience. I trust that when people, especially young and impressionable people take the time to read the words, they come away astounded at de la Rocha's delivery almost changed. He is smart and sound and back with a vengeance, minus the cool dreads by the way.
I have noticed a little less profanity in the new music, at least so far. I have not heard all the songs yet, but I think the maturity level is rising incrementally with the experience of Zack de la Rocha.
The song included with this article is Wild International and I included the lyrics with a couple of words modified slightly. The words are however in the song, but it is not too dangerously offensive. Still, parents may want to screen it.
What I get from the song is more of the same; a tremendous frustration that the politics of this country have delivered to the public. "Muhammad And Christ would life, would lay your body down, To a tune so wild international. In the desert full of bullets Let your body rot, with my chrome With my verse, with my body rock"
At this point you are with me or wondering what the hell this could possibly be about, I know. But the words to this particular song like others, gets to many things like war, right-wing talk show hosts, and the songs about violence are really about how it should not be, but is.
And it references Muhammad and Christ in the same verse, bringing to mind the fact that Christians are the only religion that believes only their way is right, only their way is the way of God. Anyone who has spent time in a Muslim country knows one thing for certain; it is all about God regardless of the name you use.
Congratulations to the former front man of Rage Against the Machine for this great new piece of work.
Wild International Lyrics
They say that in war
In this era
For information on the new album and tour dates, you can visit: myspace.com/onedayasalion
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