Everybody has to start somewhere, right? So, just like arty
mullet-head Paul Hewson wasn't always supercool Bono, cheesy metal guitar
slinger Tom Morello wasn't... well, he was always Tom Morello, but somewhere
between the break-up of his early band Lock Up and the formation of Rage
Against the Machine, he threw out his leopard skin Living Colour songbook and
got in touch with his serious chops.
On May 20, Manifesto Records will
re-issue the only album by Lock Up, Morello's pre-Rage band. The album is ,
called Something Bitchin' This Way Comes and, judging from the Van
Halen-inspired MTV metal riffage and extra muenster lyrics, crooned by future
Extra Fancy singer Brian Grillo, Morello's come a long way since his early
Lock Up formed in 1987 and worked the L. A. club scene; their lone
album was released by Geffen in 1990. With by-the-numbers tunes like "Half Man,
Half Beast," it's no wonder the group's cookie-cutter metal funk got them a few
spins on MTV during that video channel's painfully-long flirtation with all
things fluffy and metallic.
Harboring next to none of the groundbreaking
guitar pyrotechnics that have branded him as one of most inventive, exciting
guitarists of his era, Morello's noodly fret-dancer playing on Bitchin'
is loaded with brief glimpses of a player figuring out his true sound. The
same, however, can't be said for Grillo, who sings lyrics like "Punch, you like
to get fucked up on it/ Punch, you know, it's what you put in it/ Tell me why I
gotta hold your hand/ One more time, I gotta drag ya home again/ You're punch,
you're punch drunk."
While nobody seems to know what happened to bassist
Chris Beebe and drummer Vince Stertag, it's unlikely they're flying as high as
Morello is now. How high? Although it might disillusion some of their more
stridently lefty fans, a source at RATM's label, Epic, let it slip that Rage
are getting along so well with their new pals in U2 that the Irish rockers have
invited their proteges to board the U2 corporate jet when bouncing from gig to
gig on the PopMart dates. Let's see...hobnobbing with supermodels and
high-flying rock stars or ripping off that wanky solo in "Everywhere I Go It
Looks Like Rain?"