ONE DAY AS A LION – One Day as a Lion

Zack de la Rocha never quite got his shit together when RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE first split.  A few guest appearances here and there, but his long rumored solo album never materialized.  Now that he and his RAGE band-mates have reunited, it’s quite odd that de la Rocha finally has a full release (albeit an EP) of original material.  ONE DAY AS A LION teams him up with former THE MARS VOLTA drummer extraordinaire, Jon Theodore, and the result is a rather stripped down mix of rock beats (with a sometimes “live” hip-hop feel) alongside de la Rocha‘s fiery rap vocal attack.  It’s not surprising that it’s a stripped down affair considering the band is only the two of them with de la Rocha also contributing effects and keyboards.  But, they still manage to generate a lot of noise.  The self-titled release has a spontaneous and energetic vibe, and de la Rocha‘s familiar voice is both rallying and exciting.  Lead track, “Wild International,” is reminiscent of de la Rocha‘s defiant, beat-heavy collaboration with DJ Shadow, “March of Death.”  The eponymous “One Day as a Lion” track pumps a funkified “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” drum beat played with the tasty finesse that Theodore specializes in.  One Day as a Lion is only a scant five songs long but appropriate in length for the limiting parameters of two men equipped with just drums, a keyboard, and a microphone.  While the world still yearns for a rich and powerful de la Rocha solo album, this EP helps to at least deliver a crisp shot of Zack that the world so badly needs. Perhaps ONE DAY AS A LION will be enriched in the future through additional members or guest participants.  (ANTI-)