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AUDIOSLAVE - Out Of Exile   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Monday, 30 May 2005
Open the sunroof, drive at 55, feel the wind in your hair, and at the same time acknowledge the utter emptiness of it all. Or something.

 

Chest-beating, car-driving, wind-in-the-hair, San Francisco, LA, Californian RAWK. Before the hairy-chested vocals storm in like a jet taking off, its 1973, a debauched hotel, sun melting the sidewalk, JD on tap. This albums RAWKS, and RAWKS Hard.

 

And like a big hard rock, sometimes its dumb. Dumb, solid, impenetrable. “Out Of Exile”, which takes the notion of a ‘difficult’ second album, and smashes it to pieces against a brick wall, is proof that sometimes you don’t need to evolve to survive. But, with this lack of evolution, there’s really no sense that the album is much more than a bunch of new Audioslave songs.

 

The blueprint that was hammered into stone with the first album remains, and aside from Tom Morello’s scientific, concise solos - particularly on "Yesterday To Tomorrow", there’s nothing you haven’t heard before. You can’t tell which album these songs come from. Most great albums have a personality, a sense of themselves, an overall sound or theme or a distinct character : “Out of Exile” sounds like Audioslave alright, but there’s no movement from the last album, no desire to change.

 

But that’s not to say that there’s nothing of value here. “Out Of Exile” is a refreshingly bullshit free rock album that manages to sound both intelligent, and dub-as-a-redneck at the same time. As far as metal or rock (and is there a difference anymore?) goes, Audioslave are certainly one of the best proponents out there.

 

Not for them completely clueless dumbfuck subpunk posturing of a band that wants to be as good as the Sex Pistols, but utterly miss the point in a wash of tattoos. Nor then the obtuse political posturing of some bands. Audioslave just open up the big Can of Rock Riffs, peel out another crunchy tone, riff away like bastards, scream a lot, and  in their new re-imagining of the traditional rock mould, offer something both utterly original and derivative at the same time.

 

If I forget about the existence of the Seventies, then “Out of Exile” is a fabulous metal album. In fact, since I don’t own anything by Led Zeppelin, I can live my rock dreams vicariously through Audioslave

 

Existential, hedonistic metal. Valhalla, I am coming! 

 

 

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