Rage Against The Machine: Zack De La Rocha (vocals); Tom Morello (guitar); Timmy C. (bass); Brad Wilk (drums).
Additional personnel: Maynard James Keenan (background vocals).
Engineers: Stan Katayama, GGGarth, Auburn Burell.
Recorded at Sound City, Van Nuys, California; Scream Studios, Studio City, California; Industrial Recording, North Hollywood, California.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE is a collection of live concert videos and uncensored versions of 5 original videos.
On paper, Rage Against The Machine reads like Beavis, Boogie Down Productions and Butt-Head: an angry and enlightened rap frontman who preaches a multi-cultural alternative to what they teach you in schools and show you on TV, backed by a funky heavy metal rhythm section whose vampage and riffing pay direct tribute to the likes of the Edgar Winter Group and Led Zeppelin.
But there's no sense of fusion here. Neither a metal band toying with rap nor a rap group fronting as a rock band, R.A.T.M. is four guys who were never told that there's a difference, and who don't care to know. The knowledge-is-good-but-schools-are-bad rap, "Take The Power Back," gives way to a metal instrumental bridge; and the guitar that introduces the Martin/Malcolm/Cassius homage, "Wake Up," pays its own tribute to Zeppelin's "Kashmir." The closest spiritual--but not stylistic--reference point are the alternative raps of the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy; and Rage's "Bullet In The Head" may be the best song about TV since the Heroes' "Television, The Drug Of The Nation."
Rapper Zack De La Rocha has a thin voice that sounds more like a bored suburban thrasher than an inner-city rhyme animal, but his lyrics are something else altogether. Rising high above the nihilism of both hard-core rap and punk, he offers not just good slogans for a t-shirt, but the promise of a system to replace the one he's bent on destroying. His is a revolution with a purpose.
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.52) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Spin (9/99, p.132) - Ranked #26 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin (5/93, insert, p.8) - "...some of the fiercest, most impassioned musical polemics ever....fuses metal-tinged punk rock with hardcore rap....relentlessly inventive..."
Q (7/01, p.91) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".
Q (3/93, p.90) - 3 Stars - Good - "...they're every bit as angry as their name implies....this is a record of real attitude and energy..."
Alternative Press (11/00, p.144) - Included in AP's "10 Essential Political-Revolution Albums" - "...A debut that channels the aggression of the streets into a guitar-driven polemic. The targets are typical...but [their] integration of hip hop and heavy metal isn't."
Melody Maker (1/1/94, p.77) - Ranked #39 in Melody Maker's list of the `Albums Of The Year' for 1993 - "...white hot metal and molten funk with industrial sonic disruptions...formidable..."
Musician (1/93, p.90) - "...Rage Against The Machine offers pointed politics and articulate anger....doesn't just draw from hip-hop and heavy metal, but integrates the two so completely that crossover is no longer an issue..."
NME (Magazine) (2/6/93, p.29) - 7 - Very Good - "...What makes RATM more than just another bunch of prodigiously capable genre-benders is their total lack of pretension or contrivance....the results burn with an undeniable conviction..."
NME (Magazine) (12/25/93, p.67) - Ranked #31 in New Musical Express' list of `The Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE put screaming funk-bone hardcore and agit-rock sensibilities on top of the pops...."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[A] radical fistful of funk, rap, and rock. Through its power, it remains an essential call to activism and a necessary lesson on how to withstand the opposition."