Rage Against the Machine Essentials

Rage Against the Machine Essentials

The '90s were fertile years for bands fueling their sound with elements of metal, hardcore, and hip-hop, and the single-minded ferocity of Rage Against the Machine crackled loudly among them. Their protest anthems, including the incendiary “Killing In the Name,” are as subtle as flag burnings: Over gnashing syncopation that combusts into cruel breakdowns, rapper Zack de la Rocha rails against social injustice and guitarist Tom Morello generates riffs that whir like power drills. Rage are dogged minimalists, though on occasion they do ornament their brutal cacophony with scraps of hard funk and turntablism.

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