Rage Against The Machine
The Battle Of Mexico City
It was as if the stars had aligned. Next to a reunion of Appetite era Guns N’ Roses, the return of Rage Against The Machine is often coveted as one of the most hoped-for reunions, and then it happened. A tour was booked with Run The Jewels announced as openers and the hype was truly exceptional. Naturally, the 2020 Public Service Announcement tour has been postponed; however, Rage Against The Machine, likely in efforts to make something from what was supposed to be a massive year, have released The Battle Of Mexico City. The live album, recorded in 1999 as a part of their tour in support of their third record, The Battle Of Los Angeles, was originally released as a concert film in 2001.
Opening with the explosive “Testify”, the incredible live fury that was Rage Against The Machine is immediately apparent. With guitar legend and innovator Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk – easily among the tightest rhythm sections in rock – and vocalist Zack de la Rocha, the quartet deliver a massive wall of distorted and fuzzy fury, sounding easily like a band at least twice as large. This is further affirmed as the band blasts into “Guerrilla Radio” and the groove heavy, “People Of The Sun”.
Rage Against The Machine performed six of the 12 tracks on The Battle Of Los Angeles, including “No Shelter”, a single recorded around the same time, but only officially released on ‘98s Godzilla soundtrack. Busting out favourites from the album mentioned above and also including “Calm Like A Bomb” and “Sleep Now In The Fire”, the band features a heavy selection of hits from their first two records, such as “Bombtrack”, “Know Your Enemy” and the essentials, “Killing In The Name” and “Bulls On Parade”. The live album also features the unreleased “Zapata’s Blood” and comes to a climatic close with the one-two punch of an extended “Freedom” followed by “Township Rebellion”.
Titled after the final battle in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), which saw the American acquisition of Texas and a large part of the current American Southwest (California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming), The Battle Of Mexico City is both recognition of a lesser-known history and a celebration among cultural minorities finding success within a constitutional system that is actively working against them. The reclaimed name of the famous war is matched purely by the visceral performance from the band. Truly, Rage Against The Machine were an incredible live band unlike any other and The Battle Of Mexico City is but a testament to the relentlessness and passion that brought their performance to life.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – THE BATTLE OF MEXICO CITY