i’ve waited a long time for Zach to release new music and this is great!
One Day As A Lion is the creation of musical comrades Zack De La Rocha & Jon Theodore. This is music about space – the space between friends and collaborators where ideas form; the space in a song where the tension builds waiting for the next wave of sound; the space in the corners of the recording studio (Sinatra’s old room at Ocean Way) where the sound gathers to fade and die. One Day As A Lion worked hard to capture that space on tape, unadulterated, unmolested, from heart to hand to skins to mics to tape to speaker to ear. The result, someone said, sounds like Led Zep meets Dr. Dre.After almost a decade of speculative anticipation on the part of his fans, Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha finally returns to the studio, with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. It’s been a long wait, but if anything, the machine’s sway has only grown more insidious, and de la Rocha rises to meet it as if he hadn’t missed a beat. RATM fans will find all the familiar sonic and lyrical calling cards here, but One Day as a Lion is a mimeograph of neither contributor’s flagship band. ”If You Fear Dying” and opener ”Wild International” highlight this five-song, 20-minute set. Sharing nearly synchronized leading riffs, the two songs also take similar liberties with religious taboo: ”I target more heads than a priest on Ash Wednesday” (”If You Fear Dying”); ”I’m like a nail stuck in the wrist of their Christmas” (”Wild International”). In ”Ocean View”–a heart-breaking, impressionist portrayal of the PATRIOT Act’s capacity for enabling new twists on the old story of racial profiling–de la Rocha’s wailing chorus glides atop a merciless cascade of thunderous drums. For those who follow either of these guys, everything here merits sustained attention. More generally, for those who like their protest music hard, loud, and in small doses, One Day as a Lion is king for a day, at least. –Jason Kirk
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One Day As a Lion (2008, Anti) One Day As a Lion’s first studio EP. ****
For a long time there was talk of Zack de la Rocha releasing solo material (apparently material he had been working on even before Rage Against the Machine split), and even more talk when he worked with Trent Reznor. But now we get some sort of taste of what de la Rocha is like on his own, but he equally shares the stage with Jon Theodore, former Mars Volta drummer. As expected, One Day As a Lion is explosive, with de la Rocha spitting hateful messages at the powers-that-be while taking a minimalist effect. The idea is fantastic; Theodore’s drumming is superb, playing a central role in not only developing an effective beat, but also being fairly responsible for filling the sound, as de la Rocha’s vocals and keyboards are either sparse or start-and-stop. Sure, it sounds like lost Rage material, but it’s fairly intimate for what it is, and what it is is righteous. A full-length LP would be outstanding. On it, boys! (Wild International)
Unbelievable album that only begins upon first listen. These five songs carry enough power and substance that some socio-political bands would hope for in a career. Rocha delivers lyrics up to par with that of ‘ratm’ and ‘battle’, while giving a fresh experimental/industrial sound. This has given my mind a wake up call that has been dormant for several months as Im sure it was intentioned.
Do yourself a favor – grab this beast and… WAKE UP!
If i HAD to compare this EP to a Rage album, it’s most like Evil Empire… and that’s a good thing. However, it’s not exactly typical RATM… i’d say it’s less commercial for sure, and has a very different tone to it. Imagine Evil Empire without all the pretentiousness of Tom Morello’s “National Anthem” riffs. Wild International (the most Rage-sounding song on the disc), If You Fear Dying, and One Day as a Lion are the stand out songs. I don’t know anything about John or the Mars Volta, but his drumming is EXCELLENT on the entire recording. If you were ever a fan of Zack, you gotta buy this… it’s cheap, if you need further incentive.
I have to agree with one of the other reviewers that the tracks on this album all sound pretty similar but the more I listened I was able to pick up on the differences. It gets better with repeated listens. Anyone that was a RATM fan will probably like this. Wild International and One Day As A Lion are definitely worth the price of the album. My only complaints are that I want to hear more and Zach’s lyrics are more difficult to make out than on RATM albums.