Artist: Tom Morello
Album: The Atlas Underground Fire
Label: Mom + Pop
Release Date: October 15th 2021
Reviewer: Andrew Treadwell
You know, when artists have a career with the longevity like Tom Morello has had, they can become complacent, play it safe, and stay in their lane, just to appease the few. Clearly after listening to The Atlas Underground Fire, Tom didn’t get the memo. He swerves in and out of the lanes, is by no means safe, in fact he takes dangerous chances, throws caution to the wind with reckless abandon, and doesn’t make an album to appease anyone. What he did was make an album for him, with some help from friends, as the album features the likes of Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen, Damian Marley, Mike Posner, Bring Me The Horizon, and more.
Not there are any rules in Morello’s book, but if they were they would clearly be broken. A cover of AC’/DC’s “Highway To Hell” which takes both Springsteen and Vedder along for the ride, sets the tone early. “Let’s Get This Party Started” with Bring Me To The Horizon kicks it into overdrive.
But then in stark contrast a track like “The War Inside” featuring country star Chris Stapleton, brings the twang of country mixed with pop sensibility while Morello’s signature guitar playing weaves in and out, resulting in a modern day power ballad . Another highlight is his collaboration with Sama’ Abdulhadi ‘On The Shore Of Eternity’, closes out the album and is ready for the end credits of any Hollywood Blockbuster.
This is an ALBUM, not a collection of songs. You need to put it on at the start and let it go to the end to truly appreciate the art of what has been created. To do anything other than that would be doing an injustice to the creators, collaborators but more importantly to yourselves, the listeners.
Of the album, Morello said: “Making this album was a life raft during a troubled time. Creating a global conspiracy of rock’n’roll pen pals of incredible and diverse talents really kept me going and helped me push myself as an artist and guitarist. I recorded all my guitar parts in a cloistered isolation and it feels great now to unleash these tunes on the world and inflict the latest chapter of my bizarro guitar playing on an unsuspecting public.”
Safe to say no matter how unsuspecting the public is from Rage Against The Machine, to Audioslave, Prophets Of Rage, and his solo efforts Tom Morello not only gave himself a life raft in trouble times, but maybe threw a life preserver or two out into the world
The Atlas Underground Fire is out now
Highway to Hell (featuring Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder)
Let’s Get The Party Started (featuring Bring Me The Horizon)
Driving to Texas (featuring Phantogram)
The War Inside (featuring Chris Stapleton)
Hold The Line (featuring grandson)
Naraka (featuring Mike Posner)
The Achilles List (featuring Damian Marley)
Night Witch (featuring phem)
Charmed I’m Sure (featuring Protohype)
Save Our Souls (featuring Dennis Lyxzén of Refused)
On The Shore Of Eternity (featuring Sama’ Abdulhadi)