Inside Out - No Spiritual Surrender (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Inside Out

No Spiritual Surrender (1990)


Inside Out was a short-lived hardcore project with future members of Chain of Strength, 108, Farside and…oh, Zack de la Rocha from a little band called Rage Against the Machine. Yeah, around my circle of music-loving friends, I am known as the "guy who hates Rage Against the Machine"; while I've always thought Zack de la Rocha's lyrics were definitely above average, his vocals just hit me the wrong way. That was before I got my hands on this piece of work.

Rocha, displaying a vocal approach closely resembling that of Shut Your Mouth-era Davey Havok, eases in some early traces of Rage Against the Machine-esque radicalism with lines like: "Children of the street wander so helplessly. Who will pay for their suffering? We've got the power to set them free, yet still, we do nothing, nothing." Songs like "Burning Fight" harbor stern proclamations: "I will never choose a different path, and I will never fucking be like you." Definitely not as good as RATM-era Zack de la Rocha, but still effective to the message behind the music.

Don't expect the virtuosity of Tom Morello; the music on this disc is heavy and aggressive with its share of E-chord chugs, pinch harmonics and leads. Sure, that sounds like the ingredients for your stereotypical metallic hardcore band, but they mix in a pleasing amount of west coast melodic punk to keep it out of that misconception.

No Spiritual Surrender is a classic amongst modern hardcore albums (and it's only six songs) and to my surprise, never got its chance to grace the review section of this site.