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Rage's first album, which came out in 1992, and introduced people to their edgy combination of politics, rap, metal, and punk.

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A Quick Tip by RabidChihuahua

  • May 31, 2012
Before I elaborate in this Quick Tip, keep in mind that the band's politics are NOT taken into account when rating the album, I only point out how childish they feel and how hypocritical they are.

I used to adore this album back in the late 90's and early 2000's since at the time, I thought it was the heaviest and most intense music out there.  I also gushed over the the political agenda behind the music as I used to be really far on the left (before then, I was far on the right, now I'm a moderate).  Then bands like Morbid Angel, Death, Nocturnus, Carcass, Godflesh, and Immortal came into my life and I haven't looked back at this album and this band again.

There's traces of potential here and even Timmy C.'s bass is worth commending, but this album is one that hasn't aged well with me at all.  Most of Tom Morello's riffs and solos sound derivative, though the solos that don't fit his signature "goofy sound" solos actually sound rather good.  Brad Wilk's percussion is okay, though nothing special, and Zach de la Rocha's whiny, nasal rapping is what really drags this album down (Mike Patton from Faith No More is guilty of this trait as well).  If I had to pick "best" songs on here, it would probably be "Settle for Nothing" and "Fistful of Steel" as they show that when pressed, the band can convey more emotion than just leftist anger.  I think many of the "hit" songs like "Bombtrack" and "Killing in the Name" feel childish in hindsight.

You'd think with a Harvard graduate in the band, they'd at least have some brain power to realize that their politics feel like that of a 15 year-old's and would re-think their political views for ones more realistic.

Finally, it's worth noting that a band so focused on bashing "the system" and capitalism had a musical career where they reaped the full benefits of capitalism while enjoying the freedoms provided by "the system."  Talk about hypocrisy.
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June 02, 2012
To preserve their credentials as socialist radicals, RATM might have considered signing to a label that wasn't a subsidiary of Sony, then the largest corporation worldwide. Morello's hackneyed excuses concerning the use of mainstream markets to efficaciously disseminate information are dispensable; numerous punk and metal bands conquered the world after signing to independent labels or founding their own. Let's not pretend that rich kids who can't develop their own sound or acknowledge their insufferable hypocrisy have the intelligence to do so.

Though I'm by no means a leftist, I am staunchly anti-imperialist/non-interventionist, anti-globalist and vehemently opposed to medical privatization, drug criminalization, police brutality, Keynsian proto-fascism, etc. IMO, entertainers like RATM undermine every valid cause that the radical/far left supports by virtue of their intrinsic inanity. Nobody who struggles against a totalitarian system has want of overproduced, culturally regressive music nearly redeemed by a competent rhythm section. They need food, shelter and weapons, and twenty-odd annual benefit performances won't provide them.
June 04, 2012
Well said, Robert, especially with Morello's lame excuses about distributing his material. I'm just glad that I grew out of this type of "mainstream political extremism" in music, as I know several people who are in my age group (some even older) who still think that RATM are genuine, brilliant political commentators.
June 04, 2012
Ugh. Laibach have conveyed more substantive political commentary with their parodies of extremist ideology in any given album than RATM have in the course of their entire career. Most Americans - brainwashed to adhere to a tired, dichotomous political paradigm and lacking either a sophisticated sense of humor or the ability to infer subtext - couldn't hope to understand them, preferring instead to wonder stupidly if these Slovenes are nat-seeesss.
May 31, 2012
"Finally, it's worth noting that a band so focused on bashing "the system" and capitalism had a musical career where they reaped the full benefits of capitalism while enjoying the freedoms provided by "the system." Talk about hypocrisy". well said. There is a filmmaker out there that is very similar.
May 31, 2012
Are you talking about Michael Moore?  Yeah, aside from RATM committing this hypocrisy, System of a Down is equally guilty of this.
More Rage Against the Machine: Rage... reviews
review by . October 15, 2012
posted in Music Matters
  If you traveled back into the late 90's and early 00's, and asked me what favorite band was, I'd quickly answer Rage Against the Machine. Especially around 2002 up to around 2004, I drank up the Kool-Aid and bought into their political views and thought their music was the epitome of metal music (little did I know that I was terribly mistaken into thinking that RATM was a metal band). I thought RATM's lyrics were the gospel of truth, and took up a textbook liberal agenda. …
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
Easily one of my all-time favorite albums and the definitive album of the 1990s. RAtM's debut is a masterpiece of hard rock and rap with an added edge of leftist politics. This is the sound of the revolution. 'Nuff said.
review by . December 19, 2008
Album cover
Mixing political-punk attitude with heavy metal riffs and intelligent rap lyrics, Rage Against the Machine broke the mold. Not since the days of anti-establishment hippie bands like Steppenwolf and the MC5 and punk bands like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the Dead Kennedys has there been a more politically aware band. And talk about a great debut album.   The lyrics on their 1992 debut album are fiery with righteous anger and conviction and clearly state the band's Left-wing, Socialist/Communist …
review by . June 18, 2006
posted in Music Matters
If ever there were a record that did what it said on the tin, then this is it, and when it's good it's sublime. Boy there are some fantastic moments on this record. Rage Against the Machine dates from that brief point in time when it looked like rock, funk and rap were going to merge, amalgamate, and go off in a beautiful new direction. Where Faith No More and the Chili Peppers were ultimately more progressive and adventurous, Rage Against the Machine sticks firmly to its elemental knitting: Loud, …
About the reviewer
David Kozak ()
I'm a morbid cynic who thinks very, very differently from most other people. Chances are, if the majority says X is the greatest in its category, I'll disagree with that notion, because I tend … more
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About this album


Composer: Rage Against the Machine
Author: Rage Against the Machine
Performer: Rage Against the Machine
Release Date: 1992
Label: Epic
Artist: Rage Against the Machine
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