Rage Against The Machine - Renegades [LP]




A1 Microphone Fiend 5:01
A2 Pistol Grip Pump 3:19
A3 Kick Out The Jams 3:12
A4 Renegades Of Funk 4:35
A5 Beautiful World 2:35
A6 I'm Housin' 4:57
B1 In My Eyes 2:55
B2 How Could I Just Kill A Man 4:05
B3 The Ghost Of Tom Joad 5:38
B4 Down On The Street 3:39
B5 Street Fightin' Man 4:43
B6 Maggie's Farm 6:43

Even though Renegades, Rage Against The Machine's last album, was merely a cover album, it still solidifies the band's career and legendary status as the most active and unique protest rock band for Generation X and as innovators of the ill-fated rap-rock movement. All 12 covers -- spanning from hip-hop to punk to classic rock -- fit perfectly into Rage Against The Machine's songbook, keeping a clear message and not sacrificing one ounce of intergrity or energy. Although the rumors of frontman Zach De La Rocha's disdain for the release of the album have been blamed for the break-up of the band, Renegades still stands as yet another exercise in fist-pumping power and excellent and inventive musicianship. Truly, Rage Against The Machine in top form once again.

Hearing Zach spit out rhymes on hip-hop classics such as Microphone Friend and How I Could Just Kill A Man sounds only natural, but it's when the band ventures into other, less predictable territories that this album really shines. Perfect example would be their cover of Devo's Beautiful World, a haunting, moving and surprisingly melodic commentary on the state of the world that still holds up today, just as it did in the 80's, and takes the Rage sound into a new realm. On the flipside, Kick Out The Jams (originally by MC5), is a brilliant merger of the signature Rage style with the fury of old-school punk. One of the more energetic tracks, this song is truly the point where the album takes shape. In My Eyes (originally by Minor Threat) takes on the same tone as Kick Out The Jams, and remains another highlight, but elsewhere, on the Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen covers, Maggie's Farm and The Ghost Of Tom Joad, the band shows some true influences that never really stood out before. The 12 song set is supported by two bonus live tracks: Kick Out The Jams and How I Could Just Kill A Man, which just further solidify Rage's reputation as one of the best live bands of their time. The latter even features a guest appearance by B-Real and Sen Dog of Cypress Hill.

Overall, Renegades is a proper goodbye, that shows it's true roots and honor the band's influences with large amounts of respect and excellent musicianship. It's a shame that their last studio album wasn't original material, but this is just as good. With a Rage Against The Machine reunion on the horizon, who knows what the future will bring. But even if they don't make another album, Renegades still shows the band at their best, turning some classics into new anthems for the new millennium.