My Grandpa used to tell me, "John, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Actually he would tell me that even if something was broke; he just didn't want to fix anything. This way of approaching the world meant that we could never get cable TV because the TV antenna wasn't broken. We couldn't ride in his car because our legs were working much better than his Cadillac. And he would never go the doctor because he didn't need any fixin'! He had a bunch of sayings just like this one that had been passed down to him, and in turn, passed on to me, but this particular saying has stuck with me through the years. It's probably because I used to break a lot of shit. The real irony is that it turns out that Grandpa was broke and way past being fixed. Poor bastard—killed by his own catchphrase. Tragic. This same adage can be applied to any veteran band whose sound is unique but never changes. There isn't anything wrong with it, but we still expect them to change it at some point in their career. Rage Against the Machine is a perfect example of this. They have a new album out, The Battle of Los Angeles (Epic). It's the same old Rage that you've gotten used to. It's heavy, it's angry, the singer is pissed off at just about everyone, and I can't make out half the things he is screaming. Is it good? Sure it's good. The question is, what makes it any different then the last Rage album? I'm sure new issues are covered in his ranting and raving, but the music could be from the last Rage album or the first or the second. To be honest with you, I couldn't tell one from the other. Should they have to change what has made them so successful? In the end, it's up to the band, not the listener. And the bottom line is, their sound ain't broke.
You can hear the same old John in the Morning show over and over again on 90.3 FM KCMU, Monday through Friday from 6 to 10am.