The Battle of Los Angeles

Even though Rage Against the Machine's last outing, "Evil Empire," had several blockbuster tracks, the record failed to live up to the group's revolutionary – and now classic – first album. With "The Battle of Los Angeles," Rage recalls the power and the fury with a potent, precise batch of riot-starters that set a new standard for the hard-edged quartet. Sure, cuts like "Guerrilla Radio" revisit familiar territory, but who cares? It still rocks. In fact, the whole CD feels familiar, yet comfortable, like a favorite T-shirt. And it should: vocalist/shit starter Zack De La Rocha's still screaming his politically charged manifestoes over guitarist Tom Morello's solid rhythm foundation. With "The Battle of Los Angeles," Rage Against the Machine has taken their caustic, incendiary rock to another level. How sweet it is.

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