Having successfully fused music and politics from their start, inspiring both moshing and young minds in the process, Rage Against the Machine emerge in peak form with merely their third album in seven years. Guitarist Tom Morello is one of the most distinctive and innovative players of his era, and his foil, vocalist / lyricist Zack De La Rocha, is as unrelenting and inspiring as ever on The Battle of Los Angeles. Rage, whose past antics include performing naked with duct tape over their mouths to protest censorship, released Battle on Election Day in the US, but the politics of the group can be separated from the sounds.
Indeed, the 45 minutes of mayhem heard here can be enjoyed solely as rousing aggro hip-hop rock. There's more variety found on Battle than on its predecessors, however. Sleep Now In The Fire is one of their most straight-ahead rock tunes, while the trippy guitar on Calm Like A Bomb is out there even for the adventurous Morello and Born a Broken Man serves up lovely musical interludes.