Tim Commerford has perpetually lived in the shadow of his Rage Against The Machine bandmates. Publicly anyway, as Mssrs Wilk, Morello and de la Rocha would no doubt wax poetic on the importance of the bassist’s role, but most of the non-bass playing public doesn’t realise his essential contribution to the band’s rhythmic throb.
So, in the face of Wilk’s stint with Black Sabbath, RATM reliving their past alongside the stars of hip hop and America’s broken political system, Commerford has joined drummer Mathias Wakrat and guitarist Laurent Grangeon for some stripped-down, disenfranchised, jazzy funk-punk.
Providing the skeleton for Wakrat is the image of outsider punks The Nation Of Ulysses absorbing Helmet’s regimented 4⁄4 ping in order to take a stab at The Shape Of Punk To Come. Wakrat himself wields a heavily skittish hand, with powerful accents and seamless time signature changes complementing the angular guitars and bald lyrical anger. Generation Fucked provides a prime example of the above, while Nail In The Snail and The Thing sublimely thrashes up oddball legends NoMeansNo into Infotainment-era Pitchshifter in creating modern protest anthems. It’s nine tracks of high energy, political punk with a backbeat that should have hips grinding, fists swinging and billy clubs beating.