Initially conceived as a series of B-sides to a now-on-hold live album, Renegades' 12 tracks sound both haphazard and insurgent. The rhythm section attacks the songs with punk muscle, and Tom Morello's guitar twists and turns through bouts of hip-hop and metal cleverness, but it's de la Rocha, turning nearly every one of these songs into Rage tunes, who drives the band. He turns up the vitality on Eric B and Rakim's "Microphone Fiend," building an edgy angst from its foundation, and on "Maggie's Farm," he returns Bob Dylan's house rocker to its field-song roots. Rage also transforms Afrika Bambaataa's "Renegades of Funk" into a post-hip-hop apocalypse and finds the appropriate rage in Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad." The songs might not collectively amount to the personalized roar of The Battle of Los Angeles, but Rage still relates each of them in its own intense voice.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.