Against the Machine - 4.5 of 5
Against the Machine - Spin's #26 of 90 greatest albums of the 90s
26. Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine (Epic, 1992)
The only self-proclaimed Marxist band to shake MTV in a mostly
complacent decade, Rage Against the Machine blindsided the world with a
rap-rock hybrid that addressed subjects weightier than babes and beer.
Fueled by frontman Zack de la Rocha's furious rhymes and Tom Morello's
scratchy guitar, their 1992 debut was a blisteringly conscious wake-up
that inspired dozens of genre-crossing offspring.
"The goal of the first record was to document our experimentation with
hip-hop and punk, but also to destroy the boundaries between art and
politics," says de la Rocha. "This had been done before, but the greed
indifference of the Reagan '80s had spilled over into the '90s. Given that
climate, Rage wasn't supposed to be popular." But after incessant touring
a high-profile opening slot on 1993's Lollapalooza, the Los Angeles band
made baggy-panted fans used to Jane's Addiction and Dr. Dre stop to
consider the world outside the mosh pit (raising issues like America's
treatment of its poor and the Chinese occupation of Tibet). "I was inspired
the conviction behind the music and the sincerity behind the lyrics," says
Deftones singer Chino Moreno. "It's not like they were the first band [to
hard rock and rap], but they were the first to do it right."