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It’s too bad Zach de La Rocha stepped down, closing a very powerful chapter in music history. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE was power! Hardfuckingcore! Even their first album cover was in your face. And that’s the album I’ll write about today.
I remember, very vividly, the first time I got my hands on this album. It was awesome, amazing, nothing like I’ve ever heard. I was in a point in my life – young teens – where I felt like I had to rebel or revolt against something. This album just filled that musical void. No, I wasn’t in any gangs or getting into trouble with the police. I was beginning to get a grasp on things. Seeing the good and learning to see the ugly side of things. I was a skater, baggy jeans, big shirts, etnies sneakers.
I was in Ottawa, Canada. Everything was grunge, it was the early 1990s. So, the self-entitled debut album just fucked it all up, man. I mean, shit! What a fucking recording! I’d put it on and listen to it non-stop, star to finish, all day. I made a cassette of it and put it on my yellow sports walkman – remember those?! Those were good times.
As for the skating aspect of it all, the songs are what people of the iTunes generation I guess would label as “power songs”. Kinda gay, I think, but RAGE used to get me pumped up for skating and pulling tricks and grinding rails and curbs and all sorts of mayhem.
It was beautiful growing up, and growing up there, in Ottawa made it just that more fun. The times were good for music – everyone seemed to be hating on the 1980s, which are now back more than ever -, grunge was the shit and had many great bands, some still around today. But, as I mentioned before, was there anything that even resembled RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE???!!! Fuck No!!!
I also recall the booklet – I used to buy CDs back then – and reading, on the last page, that no samplers or synthesisers were used. Now, back then I had no clue what that meant, but thought it was cool, so I used to tell everyone I knew and had reccomended the album to – yeah, what a loser, eh?! It was fun, though. And now that I know what that means makes it even cooler to think about that album. It makes it even edgier and more raw. Pure fucking IN YOUR FACE!!!
The lyrics were also tantalising – I had to research all kinds of shit, and there wasn’t any internet back then, in order to find out about what he was raging about. Turns out the guys, in particular Zach, had something to say. He still does – it’s a real shame RAGE is over. Or is it?!
Songs that I love: ALL!!! Ok, ok, ok. I’ll name a few that really stuck out back then, and still do today. “fuck you I won’t don’t what you tell me…” Yeah, of course, KILLING IN THE NAME had to be there. Again, was there anything around back then, even today, as raw and blunt as this shit???!!! NO!!! My all-time favourite track, though, that I listened to probably over a million times – for real – is TAKE THE POWER BACK. Best introduction to a song much? That big, bad bass, creeping up until Zach decides to holler “bring that shit in…”, then it’s all fucked. Wicked, wicked song. Cheers…

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