• tom-morello-nightwatchman.jpg

    Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

    What? Tom Morello's electrified six-string blasts and squeals formed the bedrock that anchored frontman Zack de la Rocha's righteous fury, making Rage Against the Machine one of the most exciting bands of the 1990s. You wouldn't necessarily know it now, though. Morello has traded his guitar heroics for earnest folk rock as the Nightwatchman. There's a sense of danger here, sure -- "Whatever It Takes," off his new record The Fabled City, is a call to revolution: "I'll meet you now wherever you are / I'm here until the frontline breaks," he sings.And even his stage name calls to mind a sort of aesthetic vigilantism. But Morello's mimicking of Tom Waits' and Bruce Springsteen's vocal intonations while throwing Public Enemy-style firebombs is discomfitting.

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