You've got to admire the veil of secrecy that shrouded One Day As A Lion. Much like the status of frontman Zack De La Rocha's long-rumored solo album, this EP was all but a myth a mere few weeks ago. The next thing you know, the band is announced and the EP is released to the public before the press can even posture on it. However Cloak and Dagger it may be though, this showcase of Rage Against The Machine vocalist De La Rocha's sonic collaborations with former The Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore may or may not be what the frothing RATM fans have been chomping at the bit for all these years.
While the first track, "Wild International", readily captures the abstract skronk and bombast of late career Rage Against The Machine; the rest of the material here is more of a sonic exploration and somewhat of a mixed bag in comparison to the refined lead-off cut. One would expect that after 8 years of relative silence from De La Rocha he'd be practically bursting with song ideas. But in the course of this EP's five tracks you get "If You Fear Dying", which is essentially an alternate downtempo take of "Wild International".
That being said, the crisp live drumming mixed in with the abundance of free flowing synth and electronic manipulation that form these songs is an interesting dynamic that keeps things moving steadily. In fact, the lively organic nature of the electronic dissonance bears heavy resemblance to that of recent Nine Inch Nails output, but the unfiltered structuring keeps it on a different page. This allows De La Rocha to broaden his horizons a bit with some singing and the like, but it can also find him going a tad wayward as the slow waves of sound manipulation and dissonance begin to drone.
At times he easily captures the, ahem, rage that defined him through the 90's and at others he seems stuck reaching beyond his abilities. In turn, this EP quickly reminds one of why the RATM faithful still cling to hope that a De La Rocha solo opus will one day surface; as he has clearly found a new style beyond the confines of what he is known for, just as he did when he exited Inside Out. Unfortunately though, it would seem he has yet to find where his voice fits comfortably in it.
(3.5 / 5)