I like it when they go faster, get louder and heavier. I don’t like the slow, boring filler that I remember constituting the majority of the band’s catalogue and indeed this album. I don’t remember making a conscious decision, but I think I grew tired of any and all rapping, I know a lot of people who I disliked espoused the band and the childishness of any lyrics centering around rebellion really grated at me, at the time, so RATM fell out of favour with me.
Going into this relistening I really wasn’t expecting great things from this album , I honestly thought it’d be a chore to get through, like Sepultura’s Roots… a false classic, stuck in its time. Was this so ?
Well; on this relistening, the opening millisecond of ‘Bombtrack,’ saw a huge smile burst across my face as I remembered the song I had enjoyed so much back in 2002-or-3, but forgot with the passage of time. Basically, I had completely fallen out of interest with RATM some time around 2005, unloaded all my albums and didn’t listen to the band again until I bought their live DVD in 2009 when I relasised I actually liked the band. Even so, I never tried their debut, contenting myself with the other albums, discovering ‘Vietnow,’ as a favourite for the first ever time.
I remember the debut being slow and boring… so you can imagine my pleasure to hear ‘Take The Power Back,’ as if for the first time, a song that sounds as if it belongs on Black Sabbath’s first three albums barr the funk influence.
On relistening, ‘Settle For Nothing,’ seems to embody why I didn’t like the album, slow and difficult to follow, except now I can hear all the little touches that make it a good song… probably I never give it a full and proper listen before now, eager as I was to skip to the faster, more rocking songs.
‘Bullet In Your Head,’ I originally thought was pleasant, if a little too repetitive. I now discovered the whole ending which brings the rating of the song up several intervals in my opinion. The unquestionable highlight of the whole album however is the excellent ‘Know Your Enemy.’
‘Know Your Enemy’ is an amazing song, I’d almost go as far as to say it’s the best RATM song altogether… if not THE best then certainly in the top three, along with ‘No Shelter’ and ‘Bulls On Parade.’
‘Wake Up,’ the track which follows is severely enjoyable and really reminds me of Tool, especially in the build up about 3 minutes 55 seconds in, as well as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmire’ in the main riff. I feel as though I have never heard this song before in my life, but like ‘VietNow’ I will now make a point of doing so on a regular basis, this song is simply fantastic.
‘Fist Full Of Steel,’ is enjoyable, nothing to complain about except that the verses are a little sparse, but the nice heavy chorus makes up for that in a way I wouldn’t have expected before going into this TGR entry… my opinion was a good chorus isn’t an excuse to meander around with no guitars for the rest of the song and the nineties needed to learn that. It would appear that this album is an exception.
I literally have NEVER knowingly heard Township Rebellion when paying attention, but it is pretty great all around, and that guitar solo is something special. Same goes for ‘Freedom,’ especially when it goes all fast and almost psychedelic.
Overall, I enjoyed this a seriously large amount, which was doubled by how lame I was expecting the experience to be. This is a very strong album and I take back any comments I ever made about it being too slow, boring or full of filler.