Welcome to an incendiary sound. Legacy Recordings UK , release ‘Rage Against The Machine – XX’, commemorative 20th anniversary editions of the eponymous debut album by a great Californian rock band. Newly remastered for this anniversary release. The album from the opening ‘Bombtrack’, shines up well as does the adopted x factor protest UK No.1 song, ‘Killing In The Name’, although as my ipod testifies the original, with over 12, 000 plays was an early entry to my playlists. Already this oone hell of a fun ride.
Remember watching some North American show where both Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers shared the same stage in the early 1990’s, could be wrong, but hearing the excellent ‘Take The Power Back’ the song evokes that time, when anything was possible. with a land also roamed by a vibrant Fishbone and Janes Addiction, Grunge is alive in Seattle and a few other places, just around the corner for the rest of the known world. RATM where important then, as they are today. To one of my original favourites, ‘Bullet In The Head’ still vibrates many a speaker, another another clue to the band’s stance, fuel and musicality, remastered here for future generations, scrumptious and fat free. like what they have done with ‘Know Your Enemy, the re-constituted intro and the vocals. What seems like the trademark of alternative rock guitar blazes across the amplifier equaliser bounce to the opening of ‘Wake Up’ which with the drama, drives and growls at over 6 minutes, as does ‘Freedom’ which shows the different shades and moods of the revolution in rock, which also back then shone a light and added a soundtrack to many a worthwhile struggle.
The three live bonus tracks, all impress, there’s live versions of ‘Bombtrack’, ‘Bullet In The Head’ and ‘Take The Power Back’ represent as the band are a tour de force live, like mist that were around them, their live performances were never in question. They come from a time, where the word remastered was not particularly a good thing, so with a touch of relief. forced to conclude that the re,remastered album, is over all better for an upgrade some 20 years later.
Moving to ‘The Original Demos’ of CD 2, one thing is very apparent on first listen to the demos, each song is well advanced, fully drawn, is a tadge less produced, more stripped, more direct as a result. You also get some of the original recording sessions songs like ‘Mindset’s A Threat’, impressive ‘Autologic’, familiar ‘Darkness Of Greed’ and ‘Clear The Lane’ alongside of album standards, ‘Killing In The Name of’, ‘Bullet in The Head’ ‘Bombtrack’ and ‘Take The Power Back’. The Original Demos Cd throws up lots of highlight when you hear ‘The Narrows’, for instance you are still within the bubble of creativity, there is no sense that any of the 12 tracks that there is anything throw away, as the band were all in such a rich vein of form, back then.
DVD 1 included in the Deluxe Box Set features Rage Against the Machine’s historic free concert in Finsbury Park on June 2010, performed as a thank-you to UK fans for making “Killing in the Name” the UK’s Number One Single during Christmas week 2009. Also included is the band’s groundbreaking music videos, complete with missives, plus live concert performance clips all of which are good viewing, just wish their could be footage from 1993’s Lollapalooza. ‘Rage The Machine – XX’ charts the bands debut, their original demos, videos and classic live footage all to good effect. in 20 years the band’s original impact is still as impressive, the remastered anthems, do not suffer, from over production or otherwise interfered with. The result a classic album, that is now fit for purpose in 2012. Time for a band roll call, they all, the least they deserve, vocalist – Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocals, Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk. Collectively served up something special, brought injustice to the fore, their energy, their fire, RATM made us all think and move, thank you. 9/10
KNOW YOUR ENEMY filmed on June 6th 2010 at the Finsbury Park Victory Concert