Wednesday, 30 July 2008
One Day As A Lion
One Day As A Lion – s/t
Having endured seven years of rumours and hearsay about Zach de la Rocha’s new musical project we were finally, last year greeted with… a Rage Against the machine reunion. Not quite what we were expecting I have to say and having not yet witnessed one of these reunion shows I’m not sure if it’s a welcome either.
Now, however, we finally have some ‘solo’ material from Zach. Though it’s not strictly a solo project, rather a collaboration between him and one of the great drummers of the modern age, John Theodore, previously of The Mars Volta.
As it is, one could be forgiven for expecting something quite special, sprawling yet taught and fuelled by righteous anger. This is not quite what we’ve got. Instead we have something that sounds like Rage Against The Machine with more electronics and less funk, in a nutshell.
Each track is filled with faintly complex rhythms from Theodore and distorted synth lines, replacing the hook and funk laden licks of Tom Morello whilst underneath a bass line rumbles in that (r)age old tradition of playing the same riff as the guitar line, which in this case makes it hard to distinguish. All the while Zach’s vocals, while still clearly angry, have evolved somewhat from the simple rap verses he used in his earlier days. If You Fear Dying, rocks this trend by sounding distinctly Rage-like in the verse.
However, I don’t mean any of this in a negative way. We already (again) have one Rage Against The Machine, we do not need another though, god help us, enough people have tried, so it’s good to hear Zach trying his hand at something new and evolving his sound, though comparisons were inevitable as he was THE voice of a generation of rock fans with that oh-so-distinctive voice.
So, fuelled by distortion loaded synths, complex drum rhythms and Zach’s distinctive, yet mutated, vocals we have the sound of something new, and brutal. Not the greatest record of all time, but this debut EP oozes potential and pulsates with venom. I think we have not heard the last of One Day As A Lion.