Sound — 7
One Day As A Lion is the simplistic Hip-Hop driven offspring of Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha and former The Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. Signed to fairly fresh label Anti, ODAAL's Self Titled five track EP is a mass fusion of grimy, soiled up keyboards with heavy thumping percussions, not to mention grubby and funky as hell bass lines. This is all complemented by De la Rocha's signature pissed off rapping/shouting. First track Wild International kicks off with a force suited perfectly for an opening track with minimalist hi-hat and cymbal percussions accompanied by an unforgiving bass line. When Zack's rapping drops, it's clear that One Day As A Lion mean business. A promising start to the EP, the song does exactly what any opener should do: get the blood pumping and ready for more. The EP's standout track is clearly the mean leaning Last Letter. The track rides a dirty bass line throughout the song creating a moody atmosphere all the while rising to reach boiling point. The climax finally happens forty seconds from the end where De la Rocha continuously shouts This is my last letter to you over and over again. The five tracks on the Self Titled EP flow well together creating a dangerous funked up tone.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, as always Zack de la Rocha is pissed off. As an activist, the lyrics on the EP reflect De la Rocha's political complaints and thoughts. This is shown on the track If You Fear Dying: Time is coming; rising like the dawn of a red sun; if you fear dying then you're; then you're already dead. Considering the state of affairs in the States at the moment, the song's lyrics make a bold statement. But then again, De la Rocha is not a man well known for compromise. The one surprise vocally is the second track Ocean View where De la Rocha actually sings rather than raps. At first it's quite hard to take in as many of us are so use to his shout rapping, but once you learn to accept it you realize that it suits the song much better than the alternative.
Overall Impression — 8
Right from the get go it is quite obvious that Jon Theodore and Zack de la Rocha have a good thing going. Although quite minimalist, the tracks all flow from strength to strength; growing on you each time you listen. As One Day As A Lion, Theodore and De la Rocha are a force to be watched. Whether posted as a side project or not, their collaboration is quality and the EP serves as a warm up to a hopefully just as awesome and successful full length record.