A Quick Tip by RabidChihuahua
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.