Written by Maya-Rose Torrão
Political activist and musician Tom Morello, of Rage Against The Machine, Prophets of Rage and Audioslave fame, has just announced his first ever official solo album, scheduled to be released on 12 October via Mom + Pop Music, the label that brought us Flume and Courtney Barnett. Morello’s new album is titled ‘The Atlas Underground’ and will feature an eclectic mix of artists from different genres, including well-known names Portugal. The Man, Gary Clark Jr., Marcus Mumford, Killer Mike, Big Boi, Vic Mensa, RZA, Steve Aoki, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and Knife Party. Morello has teased his listeners with two singles from the album, ‘We Don’t Need You (feat. Vic Mensa)’ and ‘Battle Sirens (feat. Knife Party)’; both tracks are equally unique but share Morello’s trademark repetitive guitar riffs and pulsing rhythm.
The first single features young rap star Vic Mensa, founder of the hip-hop collective Savemoney which includes frequent collaborator Chance the Rapper, whose music is backed by hip-hop royals Kanye West and Jay Z. The track clearly has a political edge, as Vic Mensa cries out to ‘bite the hand that feeds you’ while also making reference to police brutality and poverty. Morello attacking his guitar with funky wah-effects and the pounding of the drums gives the song an anthemic quality.
Listen to ‘We Don’t Need You (feat. Vic Mensa)’ below.
The single ‘Battle Sirens (feat. Knife Party)’ was actually released in 2016 as a stand-alone single but will be featuring as the first track on Tom Morello’s new album. When asked about the track when it was first released, Morello perfectly encapsulated the sound, by saying, “‘Battle Sirens’ is the cross genre hard guitar/hard EDM mashup I’ve been waiting to hear for years, the devastating grooves, monster drops and insane tension that are a hallmark of both Knife Party and Rage Against the Machine are elevated to a crazy level with this jam.”
Listen to ‘Battle Sirens (feat. Knife Party)’ below.
The ‘Atlas Underground’ Tracklist:
01. Battle Sirens (feat. Knife Party)
02. Rabbit’s Revenge (feat. Bassnectar, Big Boi, Killer Mike)
03. Every Step That I Take (feat. Portugal. The Man, Whethan)
04. We Don’t Need You (feat. Vic Mensa)
05. Find Another Way (feat. Marcus Mumford)
06. How Long (feat. Steve Aoki, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath)
07. Lucky One (feat. K. Flay)
08. One Nation (feat. Pretty Lights)
09. Vigilante Nocturno (feat. Carl Restivo)
10. Where It’s At Ain’t What It Is (feat. Gary Clark Jr., Nico Stadi)
11. Roadrunner (feat. Leikeli47)
12. Lead Poisoning (feat. GZA, RZA, Herobust)