Rage Against The Machine - The Battle Of Los Angeles
At least in rock, "The Battle for Los Angeles" was one of the last radical statements to get mainstream airplay and appeal. That this record still seems daring is both a testament to it and to the lame corporate shuck that mainstream music has become.
"Testify" is one of the great opening songs of any record. Like "Kick Out The Jams" or "Gimme Shelter," it is an announcement of fearlessness. Likewise, by now familiar tracks like "Guerrilla Radio" and "Voice of the Voiceless" refer to an artistic mindset that is free and passionate. Rage knew they had righteousness on their side.
Righteousness can often lead to bloated asshole-ism, but not in the case of Rage Against the Machine. When lead singer Zach de la Rocka and the band stood up to Fox News, Saturday Night Live, and stood for American workers and, more controversially, the EZLN, they meant it. More than in the 60s or 70s, when such artistic bravery was normal, a Rage record in the bins at Target or whatever Newbury Comics has become is as subversive as it gets.
They have mostly toured since reuniting in 2007, but have the records of their prime to help keep us awake. They are still out there, still, as the title of one of the tracks here on "The Battle for Los Angeles" claims, "Calm Like A Bomb." Rage Against The Machine were and are a bomb, influencing a vastly inferior slew of rap and metal artists; records like "Evil Empire" and "The Battle for Los Angeles" shame lesser corporate artists who think they're cool and hardcore because their PR people say so.
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on 2011-03-25 SolitaryMan Said:
I almost agree with gutterseed, such an act is, more than anything, blatantly attention-whorish and, despite their intent, pretty ridiculous. But that shouldn't really reflect on the music. As for this album, it's my 2nd favorite from RATM, after Evil Empire. I couldn't give it less than a 7, but certainly no more.
on 2011-03-25 Sinist3r Punk Said:
I tuned out of your rant after I read you saying that "If you live in this country during a time of war, and you support a band doing that, you're a traitor." I'm not going to get into a huge political discussion on here, but don't call anyone a traitor for something stupid like hanging a flag upside down.
on 2011-03-25 gutterseed Said:
You just posted something about Linkin park's Metorea making them "a radio band, thats all they will ever be" because of the hit's they had in 2007 off that album.
Rage, when they tour, hang an american flag upside down from a drumset. If you live in this country during a time when they're at war, and you support a band doing that, you're a traitor. They didn't stand up in support of our troops I was there. I saw what they said in this country during a time of war. I don't care if you're against the war, but to insult those who are fighting for our country in a means of hanging the flag (what it is and what it represents) upside down to show your opposition is disrespectful. It's not something you'd see from Five finger death punch, bullet for my valentine, metallica, Judas Priest, Hatebreed, Slayer, or even Ozzy...Shit he prays for the guys over seas when he's on stage. And slayer....they're totally opposed to the war, but they're not trying to create a riot when they step on stage. You look at them on stage and they just play...Eddie Vedder says vote for Ralph Nader, but doesn't piss on a flag....Disrespecting our countries flag during a time of war is shitty. Period. If you try and fight me on this, well then whatever, you have the right do your opinion, but you're less of a person if you're dissing someone in afghanistan fighting for the rights of free speech and then typing about how it's ok to do it on a music blog. Common Courtesy, respect, and you actually should be in awe....I don't see you over there fighting for us.
You're mad I gave Rage's most awful album a 2/10?? I can give plenty of justification about why i gave this album 2 stars. Self titled album and evil empire were two of the bands best albums. Not one bad song on those albums. I'm actually surprised after reading your Linkin Park posts that you didn't go off on rage. Battle of Los Angeles had 3 hits, according to you, because rage receives constant radio play for those 3 hits, rage PAID the raido stations to continue to pay them. After Evil Empire, they're shows went to crap, I remember walking out of battle tour going "why the hell did I pay 20 bucks for that"....
In my eyes, both are worthy bands of being played on the radio (linkin park and rage). Both have a very intense presnece on stage. (lollapolooza...either 2008 or 2009)
Although I don't like the flag being hung upside down because I love this country, I still admire the band for it's talent. Just like I admire One day as a lion and Audioslave (the latter moreso than zach's pathetic attempt to make an album).
This album, (battle) although it has 3 songs that were played on the radio, which, in your eyes means a sellout, doesn't do much for me. Testify, guerrilla radio, sleep now in the fire....all worthy of throwing a million a year for radio play....mainstream radio and all very good songs. They all have one thing in common, Tom Morello writing on the songs. Zak taking Tom's feedback on the songs
Calm like a bomn, mic check, maria, voice of the voiceless....here's what I have to say to Zach...."go let Tom record with Cornell, perhaps he will come up with some serious material. Stop being a control freak zak. That's why I gave it 2 stars.
And take One day as a lion off the shelf.
I gave this album 2 stars because it was not rages best work, they wanted out of their contract so zach could go do one day as a lion and tom coulld do audioslave. Hopefully they'll get back together, but I think political differences stand in the way....and that is sad.
on 2011-03-24 Sinist3r Punk Said:
Actually, they did stand up for that. But the more important issue here is that you gave the album 2 stars, without giving any justification.
on 2011-03-24 gutterseed Said:
They didn't, however stand up for the folks fighting for their freedom, they instead chose to hang the flag upside down at their shows. That's not creativity, its disrespect. Standing up to Fox News, ok, Fox news is not a legitimate news source. They're insensitivity to those fighting a war is a slap to the face of those workers they're standing up to. Leave the country id you're that radical , people will still listen to you.