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Rage Against the Machine

XX (Epic / Legacy)

Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Feb. 8, 2013

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Rage Against the Machine

XX (Epic/Legacy)

Self-righteous political fury loses its impact once the contemporaneous details fade into history. The trick remains to keep those riffs churning, so that the songs themselves outlast the polemic, a lesson learned by the MC5 and the Clash. Spiritual descendants Rage Against the Machine salute their place in that legacy with XX, an expanded take on its self-titled 1992 debut. Zack de la Rocha's fevered shout doesn't sound any more graceful now than it did then, but Tom Morello's riffs still cook, the grooves still burn, and "Know Your Enemy," "Settle for Nothing," and radio staple "Killing in the Name" still rip and pound. The band celebrates its bow's undiminished power with not only a remastered CD, but also a vinyl edition, demos disc, poster, and a pair of DVDs containing videos, live clips, and three full-length concerts, including the band's first public performance. Anger can be power. ****

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