Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rage Against the Machine

The return of RATM:

Rage Against the Machine was just angry, and nearly all business. Back together for its first show in seven years — others are to follow, at least through this summer — it went precisely back to where it left off. Where Manu Chao was noisily border-crossing, setting off sampled sirens to suggest close-range urban bustle, Rage wants its audience to feel the fear and dread of places where the working classes die in their uniforms, and a violent urge to disobey.

Part of the band’s sound, and part of its riffs, come from the hard midtempo funk of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies, but their songs are far more rigid in every way — feeling, design, sentiment. Given such a long layoff, the band played hard and well. Still, seven years isn’t such a long time, and all was much the same: Zack De La Rocha’s enraged whine lives intact; Tom Morello still makes his guitar rant and spit, his control over the wah-wah pedal and his guitar’s kill-switch undiminished.

The crowd bounced like springs, and yet, on another level, the music came off almost purely as a political project. Only in a version of Afrika Bambaataa’s “Renegades of Funk” — with lines like “every time I pop into the beat we get fresh” — was it clear that this was only a rock band.

1 comment:

lostandfound said...

dude, wanna go to a concert?