Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire:
Released April, 1996 on Epic records. (Sony)
Produced by: Brendan O'Brian and Rage Against the Machine
Guity Parties: Zack de la Rocha - Vocals, Tom Morello -
Guitars, Tim Bob - Bass, and Brad Wilk - Drums.
Contains tracks: People of the Sun, Bulls on Parade, Vietnow,
Revolver, SnakeCharmer, Tire Me, Down Rodeo, Without a Face, Wind
Below, Roll Right and Year of tha Boomerang.
Total Running Time: 46:39
4 years after the release of the debut "Rage Against the Machine",
Rage surprised eager fans with another album of much different
quality. Breaking from the label of "rap meets rock", "Evil Empire"
has set a new standard in music. Although this album leans more
towards the "hip-hop" spectrum, the influences of hardcore, post-Van
Halen rock, and other styles like jazz and funk are still easily
heard. Song styles vary differently, with VERY hip-hop oriented
songs like "People of the Sun", "Vietnow", "Without a Face", and
"Roll Right", to all out "Rage" songs like "Wind Below", "Bulls on
Parade", and "Year of tha Boomerang", it's hard to predict anything
on this album. "Tire Me" is a relentless, fast paced song reminicsent
of old school "punk" styles, whereas "Snakecharmer" is an insane
display of emotion. The first thing I noticed when I heard this
record was that Zack's voice seemed generally "raspier", Tom's guitar
was more tweaked, Tim's bass was fatter, and Brad's drums snapped and
thumped harder than on the first release. This is a much more mature
record, and probaby remains my personal favorite Rage album.
The Name...."Evil Empire":
President Ronald Reagan used to speak of the Soviet Union as the
"evil empire". Rage is simply throwing this back at him, hinting
that maybe he should evaluate his own country before labeling others.
Read the entire speech here.
The Kid on the Cover:
The kid's name is Ari Meisel, and he is 15 years old. He attends the
United Nations International School in New York. The original artwork
is derived from "Crimebuster", which is copyrighted by Mel Ramos.
Although none of the songs are focused on just one subject, I'm going
to try and point out some main themes that I have noticed. Any song
can mean anything to anybody, so don't pretend that I know what I'm
People of the Sun:
This song was first written about the original California Chicano
natives. But as the song developed more, the lyrics changed to focus
on the Zapatista Movement in southern Mexico. The Zapatistas, an army
of indigenous farmers in Chiapas, Mexico, launched an armed uprising
on January 1, 1994. "Better turn tha bass up on this one..."
Bulls on Parade:
Bulls on Parade discusses the American structure of force -- from
the armed forces to the C.I.A. It's interesting to note that when the
song was first heard, there was a debate among fans about whether
Zack was saying "Quit it now!" or "Come wit it now!" -- both are
similiar in context to Zack's motives toward the audience.
This song slams right wing AM radio shows such as "The G. Gordon
Liddy Show", "Rush Limbaugh" and "The Laura Schleschinger Show".
With completle media control, this programs are able to dominate
airwaves with propaganda of the right. Fear is what controls those who
listen to these programs.
Someone screaming for answers at a revolver as if it were alive is
a terrifying thought! Zack paints a picture of domestic violence...
The struggle and sorrow of being revolutionary.
Zack has said that this song was written to "celebrate the death of
Richard Nixon". I think it's rather self-explanatory. Zack is a
sarcastic bastard toward the world's fear of death, "oh, oh, oh, oh,
please don't die!," etc.
The poor people in the ghetto must direct their anger toward the
class which causes their misery. This is most easily done by rolling
down Rodeo Drive with a shotgun in hand. The lower classes only kill
themselves by destroying eachother and their neighborhoods.
Without a Face:
Explaining the plight of Mexican immigrants in America. United
States officials and representatives build Berlin Walls across the
border to preserve the 'purity of christian values'.
This was based on the essay, "The Southeast in Two Winds" by S
ubcomandante Marcos. Marcos describes the Zapatistas, and the Chiapas
as "the wind below"...as it is rising up, and a storm is brewing. This
song is about the movement, and the EZLN's fight for justice. The
United States media silences the movement.
"For my lives in their lives were never settled." Theme of
reincarnation in context to karmic revolution, maybe.
Year of the Boomerang:
Frantz Fanon coined the phrase "Year of the Boomerang" in a speech
about the time when violent uprisings will come back and nail
imperialists in the face.
<<<<< back to central