Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Amazon Reviews: Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman "World Wide Rebel Songs"

Tom Morello Turns up The Heat
4 Out of 5 Stars
In his guise as The Nightwatchman, Tom Morello's first two albums were low key visceral affairs, heir apparent to Joe Strummer and Pete Seger protest folkies. Sometime in the last couple of years, he realized that his powerful guitar playing was not antithetical two his new music, and he began work on a new set of songs. Events of 2010 put even more urgency into his writing; Morello was one of the first musicians to take a stand with Wisconsin's Union Members when that state's Governor tried to crush the Wisconsin Unions. It's the place he debuted, on a snowy, cold Wisconsin street, "Union Town."

If you think political rock is a passe genre, then "World Wide Rebel Songs" will probably make you mad. Yet, in a world where tightly controlled radio-playlists won't play anything that rocks the corporate boat, Morello is coming on swinging. "Politics, apocalypse, start to look the same/The price of my redemption will mean the end of living" he barks (with Ben Harper on "Save The Hammer for The Man"), as if the world of conservative politics and rightwing religion were all too happy to get to the same end result. The pun is all but unavoidable in that Morello is raging against the machine on almost every track. "Speak and Make Lightning," he calls out. This time, with his guitar and a full band attack, "World Wide Rebel Songs" lift Morello to his best solo CD and a fighting fit of an album.


No comments: