Rage Against the Machine Releases

Rage Against the Machine
Evil Empire
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.

Song evaluations:

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 talking about. 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.

Tire Me:
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. Down Rodeo:
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'.

Wind Below:
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.

Roll Right:
"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.
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