Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name

by Deany Sevigny Rating:8 Release Date:2009-12-14

Despite the furore regarding the possibility of this 17-year-old angerfest at society's ills reaching number one in the charts in place of Joe McElderry's take on the woeful 'The Climb' by Miley Cyrus, fiscally it won't matter - Simon Cowell's protegé is under license from Cowell's own Syco Music label, which is a division of Sony Music Entertainment, and RATM are licensed by Epic Records, yet another division of Sony Music Entertainment. Whichever song makes it to number 1 this Crimbo, the cogs of Sony's corporate machine remain well-oiled indeed.

Regardless, Joe McElderry's face is not one we at Soundblab want to see poking out of our stockings on December 25 - even Rage's notorious image of Thích Quảng Đức, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk burning himself to death in protest to the murderous regimes of Vietnam's prime minister in 1963, has bags more of seasonal joy than Cowell's latest offering.

'Killing In The Name' takes on the panto villain of pop with a hefty dose of swearing and rage, howling about racist policemen, proclaiming that "Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses" and simultaneously pointing the finger at the listener's apathy - "You justify those that die by wearing the badge/ They're the chosen whites", challenging the listener to take heed at this message of corruption within the very system that's there to protect and serve. It's not the jingliest of bells to chime at the festive season, but it certainly packs a mean right-hook to McElderry's simpering vizog, and to this day is still a favourite at any rock disco.

It's not just the fact that any song actually written by the artist trumps manufactured pop drivel, every time, hands down, or that Rage Against The Machine offer a furiously poignant pause for thought as opposed to a self-congratulatory turdfest with less appeal than even Peter Kay's satire of manufactured pop 'The Winner's Song'; it's mostly the fact that Christmas is a good time to think about people other than oneself, and Joe McElderry's offering drips with simpering, attention-grabbing selfishness. At a time when we're all pulling our crackers with a potential bill being passed as law in Uganda condemning homosexuals to death, and Nick Griffin's Fourth Reich gaining more and more potential with every lie uttered, how about a little selfless anger for those that can't fight back against the machinations of fascism; a little "rage against the machine", if you will?

Dean Birkett

Editor's note: we know there hasn't been an official single release, but from December 14 it counts towards the Christmas week chart

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