RAGE Against or For AUDIOSLAVE ?!?!



It was sunday afternoon. I was drinking with softball players, and enjoying time in our bar (www.maevesresiduals.com). The jukebox is playing, so we find ourselves talking music and bands. And as some of us know well, at a certain point, you (or the alcohol) have to narrow down the conversation. So we briefly discuss favorite bands that we have never seen in concert.

SOUNDGARDEN is on the top of my list, so I let it be known. I of course followed up with the fact that at least I have AUDIOSLAVE to make up for my missed opportunities — and that’s as close as I’m ever going to get. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Entire band of Soundgarden like alternakid-‘doctashock’ digs Sonic Youth… it runs deep (& I’ll save that for another post). Just the fact I still have Chris Cornell fronting a new hard-hitting band — I can’t complain. But a young girl at the bar felt she could, “I don’t like Chris Cornell, I’m a Zack fan. Chris ruined Rage Against the Machine’s sound. He’s no Zack De La Rocha.” Oh, it’s on!!


First off, why compare? There should be no comparison. Two seperate bands, two different times, with two unique sounds. I don’t think either lead-singer would want to be compared to the other… it makes no sense! But somehow, she wanted to lay some blame on Chris — as if he was waiting in the wings (doing his solo work), just looking for the right time to sabatoge Rage and show them how it’s done his way. Are you kidding me?!


Rage was without a frontman for over a year, when producer Rick Rubin suggested that Chris consider joining the band in 2001. Which if you do the math, makes Audioslave a “real” band for five years (and 3 albums). I think Rubin’s genius grouping has proved to be a success — just check with the fans (or the sales if you must).


Make no mistake, I think when Rage’s first album hit, it forced people to take another look at the popular rock environment of it’s time — and create a new space for what Rage was bringing to the table. They certainly proved the heavy hitting sounds can still have a political message behind them… and more importantly for the time — still be popular. An amazing acomplishment they will forever be recognized for. When you listen to an early RATM album, it doesn’t ask you to get in the mood for it’s sound — it demands it!


Now with all that being said, if there are any other people holding onto pure Rage so deeply that you can’t allow Audioslave and Chris Cornell into your musical soul (or at least, your musical rock library)… it’s truly a lose on your part. Audioslave’s latest album, REVELATIONS, is full of experimental everything from rock, soul, funk — and powerful hooks you’ve come to expect from artists of this size. But no matter what, “if you want your ass kicked, you’ve come to the right place, ” explains guitarist Tom Morello on the band’s website (www.audioslave.com) about their latest efforts. He didn’t lie.


Lastly, no matter what you might think, or who you prefer to listen to… I’m just happy to know I win. I get to enjoy Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave albums without any guilt or frustration. But just so you know… Chris Cornell is one the best rock “vocalists” in music. Hands down. Go ahead… look it up. Or better yet, just put your guard down, and give a listen… you might like it (I won’t tell).

audioslaveRage Against the Machineeuphoria morningout of exileEvil EmpireRevelations


7 Responses to “RAGE Against or For AUDIOSLAVE ?!?!”

  1. nueve Says:

    1) I respect your opinion, but
    2) I -hate- Chris Cornell. His voice aggravates the hell out of me. I could never stand Soundgarden.

    Imagine my despair when I found out that RATM, one of my favorite bands, was disbanding and reforming with this guy. I was mortified. It was like a nightmare come true.

    Tom Morello is one of my favorite guitarists and so I’m glad he’s doing what he wants to be doing. The music of Audioslave is pretty damned good, but I swear that Cornell ruins it for me. I simply can not make it through one of their songs without having to turn it off.

    It sucks for me, but I’m glad someone is enjoying it so that Tom’s music doesn’t completely fall on deaf ears.

    As for Cornell being one of rock’s best “vocalists” and “looking it up”, I’d have to have the latest revision of the Encyclopedia of People’s Opinions. I’d be seriously surprised if Soundgarden or Audioslave ever made their way into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but I’m put money on RATM making it in one day.


  2. sondh Says:

    Although I knew of Cornell, my only knowledge of him pre-Audioslave was ‘Black Hole Sun’ and that was thanks to an episode of Beavis & Butthhead. I’m with nueve. He ruins it for me too.

    I liked ‘Cochise’ but everything else on the album and the following two releases I just couldn’t listen too.

  3. IrishGrrl19 Says:

    Chris Cornell’s voice is a panty-dropper. His voice is pure. It is angelic. It is a gift from God. He could sing to me that he is going to kill me and then skull fuck me and I would say “really? thank you, my Master, may I have another?!” Euphoria Morning is 12 songs of total bliss and Audioslave is what I “shower” to. I thank the heavens above that I lived long enough to hear them both. To each their own but I’m sure that those that dislike Chris’ voice also find Vanilla Ice and Britney Spears to be virtuosos. Fearless23 you can be my DJ any day!!

  4. doctashock Says:

    However you feel about Cornell’s style this remains a fact. In terms of raw technical skill, Cornell has one of the best vocal ranges in rock ever.

    In regards to the Hall of Fame anybody who lived in the Pacific Northwest prior to 1991 will tell you that while “Mudhoney” and “The Melvins” were the reining kings, it was “Soundgarden” that everyone expected to take the Seattle sound worldwide. But then this little dorky drummer who kept bugging them at practices decided to pick up a guitar and start a band called “Fecal Matter” and well, whatever… Nevermind.

  5. fearless23 Says:

    “Hate” is such a strong word to use against any musical artist, let alone a renown singer. Was your father named Chris by any chance?

    I guess nueve and I will have to just agree to agree on Tom Morello. Ironically, you seem to agree that Chris brings out some of the best in Tom. And I’m sure Tom would agree too (he most likely has). You should go catch him on his solo THE NIGHTWATCHMAN tour (I hope to see him later in the month at Hotel Cafe… maybe I’ll ask him).

    I’ve seen your blog nueve, I know you can’t hold the music selected for the “HOF” as your Holy Grail of music? Come on. But that’s what you’re dangerously close to saying. I urge you to not hold onto RATM too tight, the fad will fade. And Chris Cornell will continue to be high on those list of “opinion” and “professional” polls.

    Anyhow, I’m sorry your bad nightmare is musical bliss for so many. Again, we will just have to agree to agree on Tom.

  6. Matt Says:

    Doctashock is absolutely correct – Cornell’s vocal range in his prime was unequalled. You can’t really argue with subjectivity, but listening to ‘The Day I Tried to Live,’ ‘Say Hello 2 Heaven’ or ‘Loud Love’ I, for one, can’t help but marvel at the agility and beauty of Cornell’s voice, the pure tones he produces from the bottom end to the top. Even if he just performed and didn’t write he’d still be amazing, but as a lyricist and songwriter he’s created some of the best rock albums of the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. You can’t argue with the political commitment of Rage Against the Machine, but while I may agree with much of Zach de la Rocha’s politics, his lyrics are sometimes a bit clumsy, and to my mind the music is more dated than Soundgarden, especially in the wake of Audioslave and the rap-rock wave of the late ’90s. I love both bands, but if there’s any justice Soundgarden would be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame before Rage Against the Machine. Audioslave is a terrific band on its own merits, but doesn’t compare to either of the previous groups. I respect Cornell’s right to perform Rage Against the Machine songs but I haven’t been too impressed by his ability to do so, and unfortunately it seems his voice has grown more ragged in the last few years – listen to his inadequate performance of ‘Loud Love’ on the 2005 Audioslave Sessions @ AOL and you can clearly hear the difference. But we need someone to maintain a high standard for mainstream rock, and I’ll take Audioslave any day over most of the rest of KROQ’s playlist. Here’s looking forward to Chris Cornell’s second solo album in 2007.

  7. fearless23 Says:

    I’ll drink to that! But I do drink to a lot.

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