If you haven’t yet heard of Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack De La Rocha’s new project One Day As A Lion, it’s time to do your homework, because you’re missing out on one hell of a passion project. As I said a few months ago, Zack’s returned from an entirely-too-long recording hiatus to join forces with Jon Theodore, percussive god and former drummer for The Mars Volta. Together, they’ve embarked on a new adventure that takes both artists in exciting new directions.
The throbbing body-rock cymbal ride of first single Wild International is immediate, indisputable evidence that Theodore and De La Rocha are a formidable unit with a specific vision of lo-fi revolution. The official video hit just a few hours ago.
It’s a bare-bones performance piece between the two musicians, but the passion shines through in ways a cinematic narrative couldn’t manage without distortion. Zack spits his caustic funk over a circular, buzzing air-raid bassline, and while the shades of Public Enemy are a welcome element, the song rides a promising but pretty safe middleground, giving fans of both musicians good reason to get the blood flowing. When I first heard it, I remember thinking that it would translate better live, in physical performance. Looks like I was right.
Are Rage fans going to accept this with open arms? It seems that they have, for the most part- but it really doesn’t matter. The reputations of both artists and the quality of their collaboration leave no doubt that One Day As A Lion will find its own audience, if Zack and Jon commit to this fantastic new entity and release some new material.