“Come on, although ya try to discredit
Ya still never edit
The needle, I’ll thread it
Standin’ with the fury that they had in ’66
And like E-Double I’m mad”
- Rage Against the Machine, “Wake Up”
This lyrical excerpt from “Wake Up” accurately surmises the attitude of frontman Zack de la Rocha and the skilled musicians that make up Rage Against the Machine. Bursting on to the scene in 1992, the L.A. band introduced a frenetic, blistering fusion of rap and hard rock that seethed with furious indignation at the world around them. Never stooping to clichés or tough-guy posturing, Rage Against the Machine maintained its credibility, fanbase and vitality throughout its nine-year career (they still play live shows from time to time today). “Wake Up,” in which de la Rocha examines the life and death of some of the revolutionary figures of the country’s past, is taken from band’s self-titled debut in 1992. For those that saw the wildly popular Matrix movie in 1999, the headband-inducing riff from Tom Morello is instantly recognizable. Whether one agrees with the overt politics in Zack de la Rocha’s lyrics or not, the heavy sound is irresistibly infectious and cathartic, and guaranteed to spike one’s adrenaline regardless.