One Day As A Lion is the creation of musical comrades Zack De La Rocha & Jon Theodore. This is music about space - the space between friends and collaborators where ideas form; the space in a song where the tension builds waiting for the next wave of sound; the space in the corners of the recording studio (Sinatra's old room at Ocean Way) where the sound gathers to fade and die. One Day As A Lion worked hard to capture that space on tape, unadulterated, unmolested, from heart to hand to skins to mics to tape to speaker to ear. The result, someone said, sounds like Led Zep meets Dr. Dre.
After almost a decade of speculative anticipation on the part of his fans, Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha finally returns to the studio, with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. It’s been a long wait, but if anything, the machine’s sway has only grown more insidious, and de la Rocha rises to meet it as if he hadn’t missed a beat. RATM fans will find all the familiar sonic and lyrical calling cards here, but One Day as a Lion is a mimeograph of neither contributor’s flagship band. "If You Fear Dying" and opener "Wild International" highlight this five-song, 20-minute set. Sharing nearly synchronized leading riffs, the two songs also take similar liberties with religious taboo: "I target more heads than a priest on Ash Wednesday" ("If You Fear Dying"); "I’m like a nail stuck in the wrist of their Christmas" ("Wild International"). In "Ocean View"--a heart-breaking, impressionist portrayal of the PATRIOT Act’s capacity for enabling new twists on the old story of racial profiling--de la Rocha’s wailing chorus glides atop a merciless cascade of thunderous drums. For those who follow either of these guys, everything here merits sustained attention. More generally, for those who like their protest music hard, loud, and in small doses, One Day as a Lion is king for a day, at least. --Jason Kirk
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