Rage Against The Machine - Renegades
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Rush released after the late-2000 split between Zack de la Rocha and the rest of Rage Against the Machine, the covers album Renegades salutes the band's musical and philosophical roots, ranging from the old-school Bronx to the hard-rockin' Motor City to protest-central Greenwich Village to gangsta-ridden L.A. As could be expected, the set works best when the group focuses on material from its most recent forebears: rappers and hardcore bands. Indeed, Renegades begins with a pair of powerful hip-hop covers - Eric B & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend" and Volume 10's "Pistol Grip Pump"-- that spotlight Rage's immense strengths: Tom Morello's clean, heavy riffing and vocalist de la Rocha's finely tuned spray of vitriol, just this side of self-righteous. With just a bare few exceptions, Renegades works well, in part because Rage Against the Machine is both smart enough to change very little and talented enough to make the songs its own.