Audioslave – Audioslave (2002) — 9.5/10   Leave a comment

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Whoa, two posts in twenty-four hours? UNPRECEDENTED.

Background:

Zack de la Rocha left Rage Against The Machine in 2001 for solo projects, and the band was, essentially, rendered defunct by his departure until they could find a new vocalist. So, they found Chris Cornell of the 80s/90s grunge rock band Soundgarden, and melded their musical interests into this sort of lovechild of blues, grunge, funk, metal, and rock that became Audioslave. After lots of managerial strife, they released this, the debut album, to a waiting crowd.

The album:

Tom Morello starts off the album with some of his trademark guitar experimentation: “Cochise” opens with this strange sort of clicking, almost helicopter-like in sound, before abruptly throwing its metalfunk at us.

That’s not to say that’s all this album is, though. Chris Cornell’s writing is poetic and majestic, Tom’s guitar work is intricate and mystifying, and the rhythm section of Wilk and Commerford is nigh as impressive as Bonham and JPJ in decades past. In fact, this album has a very Zeppelin-y feel to it, or a Sabbath-y one; it would nary be out of place in the 70s, as each song, light like “Bring Em Back Alive” or heavy like “Show Me How to Live”, has that indescribable vintage character.

As for the album itself, it’s very near flawless. They keep a simple four-piece set-up, but they make it so much more. The tracks have a “separate unity” matched only by the greatest: Graceland and its ilk, that is. Each track is unique enough to retain interest for ages, but is similar enough to the others to sound like Audioslave (and especially Audioslave (get it? I made a joke about formatting)). It’s not perfect, but it is very near it.

I’d recommend this to any listener of alt rock, or rock in general, or music in general. It’s got what I would consider a relatively wide appeal, and it’s not just RATM with Chris Cornell; it’s Audioslave, and that means so much more. 9.5/10, and bravo.

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Posted August 5, 2012 by farglenargle in Uncategorized

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