One Day As A Lion - One Day As A Lion (Cover Artwork)

One Day As A Lion

One Day As A Lion: One Day As A LionOne Day As A Lion (2008)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Zach de la Rocha, a former hardcore kid who looks like a bit like a Hispanic Bob Marley and used to rap over some heavy metal guitars in a famous band. Jon Theodore, a drummer known for his work with experimental music and a long stint as the drummer for The Mars Volta. Put them both together and gi.
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Zach de la Rocha, a former hardcore kid who looks like a bit like a Hispanic Bob Marley and used to rap over some heavy metal guitars in a famous band. Jon Theodore, a drummer known for his work with experimental music and a long stint as the drummer for The Mars Volta. Put them both together and give de la Rocha a keyboard, and what do you get?

Well, a fairly bland but promising debut EP.

Zach de la Rocha has one of the most distinctive voices, a distinctive forceful delivery for his rapping and a strong scream. But he hasn't ever been known for his musicianship outside of being a voice. And while Jon Theodore does a solid job of maintaining inventive beats working in the realm of hip-hop and whatever genres One Day As A Lion bridges into, the album suffers mostly from a lack of diversity. But as the group suffers from a lack of aural diversity, it's also what keeps the band sounding distinct.

The keyboard lines are simple and serve as bass and melody pieces, leaving the main construction of the songs as de la Rocha's voice over Theodore's drums. It's an experiment in rhythm and minimalism that pays off moderately.

Fans of Rage Agaisnt the Machine will take note of the self-titled track "One Day As A Lion," with its high pitched, staccato melody notes placed over deep rhymic bass notes while fans of The Mars Volta will appreciate the overtly complicated and syncopated drum riff of "Last Letter." And in fact, it's that beat that's the most exciting part of the album.

Most representative of the group, however, is the opening track and single "Wild International." Featuring a simplistic keyboard riff over a fairly standard hip-hop beat, it gives de la Rocha an effective medium for his political rhymin', of which he's never been sharper.

The bottom line is that this is a solid introduction to the band, offered in a small dose perfect for digestion. But when the future comes into discussion, in my opinion, One Day As A Lion should be one of those bands begging to work with a talented, hands-on hip-hop producer like RZA.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SilentStorms (August 7, 2008)

Oops, I meant 2.5 stars.

SilentStorms (August 7, 2008)

Listened to the first track. Definately interesting. I may pick this up.

Phantom_Maggot (August 4, 2008)

This album is pretty good, but all of the songs do blend together, which prevents it from being mind blowing. Buying it did make me want to dig out my Rage albums, and I am glad that I did. I often forget what a great band they were/are. Mic Check is a very underrated Rage cut. Also their song from the Godzilla track, "No Shelter" is stellar.

crackpotdemagogue (August 3, 2008)

i have to say, i'm totally digging this album. pretty lacklustre review, but i have to agree that the beats are a pretty central focus to the songs - and i think this is a positive thing... reminds me in parts of an aggressive political hip-hop. good stuff

sammyg (August 2, 2008)

Maybe its as sparse as it is to keep the focus on what Mr De La Rocha has to say? Its a distinct possibility and something no one seems to mention. The song all run together to some degree and that's definitely not a plus but the lyrics are as strong as the beats. Its a promising premiere.

peilocal (August 2, 2008)

While Zack may not be known for his musicianship, he was very involved in writing Rage tunes. Not just lyrics, but the actual music itself.

blip (August 1, 2008)

sick duo but very sparse review.

SloaneDaley (August 1, 2008)

Zach and Dalek seem like they'd be a good match from what I'v heard.

Haven't heard this but I'm interested given the members. tee hee.

baseball (August 1, 2008)

I haven't heard the whole thing, but I definitely like what I've heard. Zach sounds as good as ever and the drummer definitely kicks ass.

I like how it's kind of minimal. Zach is one vocalist that can totally carry a song and I've always loved his lyrics.

jesse (August 1, 2008)

MF Doom, Dangermouse, Just Blaze, hell, even Kanye West. Any of them would be aces for this project.

sirens (August 1, 2008)

hands-on hip-hop producer like Madlib.

I feel you.

stuckinbielers (August 1, 2008)

I like. HIs rapping seems a bit more sarcy on this which i dig.

usversusthem (August 1, 2008)

This is nothing revolutionary (ha, ha), but it's a solid 5 songs that are enjoyable if a) you don't mind a 5 song EP under 20 minutes long, b) you don't mind that all the songs are pretty much indistinguishable from each other, sound-wise, and c) Tom Morello and Chris Commerford are nowhere to be found.

KurtTGS (August 1, 2008)

Oh, chin up Mike!

mikexdude (August 1, 2008)

I know. :(

nocigar (July 31, 2008)

mikex, you are beyond worthless.

mikexdude (July 31, 2008)

Zack de la Rocha is beyond worthless.

nocigar (July 31, 2008)

fuck yes. I love RATM (one of the best live shows), and this album is excellent.

blanktapesemptybottles (July 31, 2008)

the single they released had me questioning, but I bought this shit and it's fucking sick, the drumming is completely different than most and classic Zach shit, the keyboard is pretty great too, I love the tone

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