Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello has shared his latest EP, Comandante, which is filled with new guitar-ladened tracks. Morello is joined by Guns N Roses guitarist, Slash, for the track “Interstate 80,” creates a fitting tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen in “Secretariat” and covers Jimi Hendrix’s iconic “Voodoo Child.” The EP also features the singles “Suburban Guerrilla”and “Cato Stedman & Neptune Frost.”
Both Slash and Morello enter an epic guitar battle on “Interstate 80,” joining the sounds of Rage Against The Machine and Guns N Roses. Each display their talented chops, one-upping each other in epic solos. Their fine-tuned playing creates a standout track, where it’s clear they both enjoyed being able to create their heavy riffs as they bounce off one another.
“Secretariat” is influenced by Eddie Van Halen’s solo on Van Halen’s 1978 track “Eruption.” Morello plays his guitar with sounds of an empty stadium around him, cheers of a crowd clapping and screaming slowly filling the sound as Morello gives his take on Van Halen’s brilliant solo. The crowd grows louder as Morello raps up his solo.
Morello’s take on Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” sticks close to the original, with the wailing noise of the intro finding the guitar sing. He soon delves into a heavier sound, incorporating more guitars as the wails match what Hendrix’s lyrics had been, singing for him. He brings in a more modern sound for some of Hendrix’s playing, while also mimicking him in other sections of the track, sometimes splitting the guitars so one plays as Hendrix as the other brings in the heavy modern tone.
“Suburban Guerilla” finds Morello returning to Rage Against The Machine’s sound in some sections, making the guitar bounce and sing in varying sections. He lends the track quick rifts as he experiments with his sound, alternating between his signature playing and finding new riffs.
“Cato Stedman & Neptune Frost” joins the smooth playing of an electric guitar and as soft drums create a steady beat. Morello finds his peace, the guitar playing in content harmony over the course of the song. High notes pierce through the sound as the riff cascades, feedback soon bringing in an extraterrestrial tone. The track throws the solo back to classic solos found in the ’70s and ’80s, with the height of the guitar as each artist explored and pushed back the preconceived boundaries of the sound.
In July, Morello joined The Bloody Beetroots, Shea Diamond and Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds for the protest song “Stand Up.” In January, Morello released a cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” alongside M. Shadows and John Dolmayan’s These Grey Men.
Comandante EP track list:
1. “Voodoo Child”
2. “Interstate 80”
4. “Suburban Guerilla”
5. “Cato Stedman & Neptune Frost”
Photo credit: Marv Watson