Rage Against The Machine could probably make a decent living as a cover band if the whole not-being-a-band-unless-the-price-is-right thing doesn’t work out. But until Zach De La Rocha is ready to hang out with his former crew for long enough to write new material, cover songs are the closest we are getting. From a band that actually released a whole covers album, this is still a standout if only because it makes De La Rocha get outside his usual funky-rap by way of verbal assault delivery. At times, I would almost say he “sings” on this cover. Almost.
A couple things to note about this:
— Rage Against The Machine is still a band.
— It is impossible to see drummer Brad Wilk and not think of him climbing the set at the MTV Video Music Awards, clearly out of his mind.
— Taking on the first single from The Clash is ballsy, but not sacrilegious like when The Boss and co. did the Grammy tribute to Joe Strummer by covering an untouchable song, “London Calling”. And, at least Rage share the political call to action that moved The Clash, making this a match-up that makes sense both on paper and on stage.
— Lastly, Germans like their music a little heavier than the average folk. Last weekend’s two simultaneous festivals, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, feature headliners Rage, Ramstein, Kiss, and Muse. The year before, we are talking Korn and Limp Bizkit. Someone needs to play these guys In The Aerooplane Over The Sea.