Sound — 9
A hard rocking pairing of Rage Against the Machine front man Zach De la Rocha on both vocals and keyboards, and former drummer for The Mars Volta, the EP exudes a confident and hard hitting sound on all tracks. Crunchy basslines, subtle but intense drumming and one of Zach's better vocal performances in a while give the EP one of the more fresh sounds I've heard in a while Wild International - Quick countoff and the EP kicks into gear, Zach spitting his rhymes with a fury. Catchy keyboards and tight, controlled drumming makes a very cool song. One of the cooler choruses on the EP. Solid song. 4/5 Ocean View - Starts off with a bang and Jon and Zach get right to it with crash cymbals galore and a screeching siren of a line. One of the weaker choruses on the EP. Not much energy in the chorus vocals, compared to the frenzied rhyming in the verses. 3.5/5 Last Letter - Jon's best drumming, hands down. The track starts with a small solo and Zach gets right to it. One of the cooler lines on the EP "Your god is a hopeless assassin." The song gets hard and heavy as it goes, with a screamed "this is my last letter to you", courtesy of zach. 5/5 If You Fear Dying - Bass and drum song galore. It's almost like they wrote this song for a band like Rage to do. Zach comes out throwing rhymes like usual, and he does it fantastically. The best chorus on this EP, hands down. Zach's best work lyrically on this track, and one of the most chilling and current verses I've ever heard. "I'm the press leak that downed you aide I'm the orange jump suit that's taylor made I'm the crescent, the sickle, so sharp the blade I'm the flick of the shank that opened your veins I'm the dusk, I'm the frightening calm I'm a hole in the pipeline, I'm a road side bomb" 5/5 One Day As A Lion - Overall, an okay track. The keyboards get to be somewhat of an earsore after a while, although the bass parts and the drumming are well done. An average track, catchy, hard hitting chorus. 4/5
Lyrics — 8
Zach does George Rodriguez proud. Political lyrics are Zach's well established forte, and he continues to show it. Three tracks in particular were so excellently melded with the drums, keyboards and vocals it seemed like there was a full band in the studio, jamming along. Lyrical standouts: Wild International, Last Letter, If You Fear Dying.
Overall Impression — 9
If anything, I'd compare it to Rage Against the Machine. I know, tired comparison, but they're really quite similar, Tim Commerford's punchy basslines strike a familiar note here, as does Brad Wilk's drumming. Standouts: If You Fear Dying, Wild International. I purchased the EP for Zach's fiery lyrics and passionate rapping, I had no idea he'd be playing keyboards as well so that was a very pleasant surprise, although somewhat of an odd time to decide to showcase his skills. I hate that they haven't made a full album yet, as a 5 song EP with 3 great songs and two okay ones isn't enough. I'd definitely purchase again if stolen.