By Nogie Demirjian, 15, Palisades HS
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"My favorite song by Rage Against the Machine is "No Shelter" from the Godzilla soundtrack because the guitar is outstanding. If you liked "No Shelter" like I did, then you’ll be eager to own their new album The Battle of Los Angeles, released November 2. The feelings that "No Shelter" and all their singles portray to me is the image of sitting on a hyper bomb ready to blow up and shock you at any given moment. To me, that’s what real good music is. The first time I listened to The Battle of Los Angeles, the word "tight" came to my mind. This new album does give me the feeling of sitting on a bomb, only this time it’s better because of Tom Morello’s lead guitar. It was clearer and better than other singles I’ve heard such as Korn’s "Got the Life" and Rage’s "People of the Sun." "Mic Check" and the first single "Guerrilla Radio" stood above all the others in the quality of the guitar playing and the lyrics. The guitar keeps a good rhythm with the words, all written by singer Zack de la Rocha, and the background music—Brad Wilk’s drums and Y.tim.K’s bass—do not overpower each other. The words are easier to understand. In "Guerilla Radio" I enjoyed the fast guitar. It reminded me of what true music is to me, which is what makes me get up and want to move around. In some occasions the guitar was so tight, it sounded like a turntable. The track that I really think that doesn’t belong is called "Maria." This slow song was like a speed bump on this fast-paced CD. The other track I didn’t like was "The Voice of the Voiceless" which sounded too much like something from a video game. I’m not playing Super Mario, I’m listening to Rage here! The rest of the CD was outstanding. The last two tracks on the album, "Ashes in The Fall" and "War Within A Breath" answered the question: What is the Battle of Los Angeles? Zack talks about Los Angeles as a city that is not as glamourous as portrayed by the media. For example, in "Ashes in The Fall" he sings "A mass of hands press on the market window/upon the food that rots slowly in the aisle." In "War Within A Breath," he states "Their existence is a crime/He builds his homes." My understanding is that "they" and "he" are not only the homeless but people in parts of L.A. who truly live "hard times" (another lyric in the song) that are being neglected. In general, no two songs were alike in beat, each on their own scale, giving a true rock/rap feel. My friend Ankur, who also listened to it and has the previous albums Rage Against the Machine and Evil Empire told me that this CD was more instrumental than the other Rage albums. In my opinion this CD isn’t far away from their last CD. That is good because why should they change now? This is a CD you must add to your Rage collection. Also, I would like to give credit to Tom Morrello for giving me a reason to listen to them. What great guitar!"