Tom Morello’s second album of 2021, The Atlas Underground Flood, is out today and Morello has shared the latest single, which once again sees the Rage Against The Machine guitarist hit up his formidable contacts book for an all-star jam.
Even before we get to the track’s electric guitar cohort, I Have Seen The Way is notable for the EDM producer Dr Fresch’s appearance on the track, with the good doctor lending it an electronic pulse courtesy of his “Future Ghetto” pulse. But that only sets the table for an unlikely six-string trio comprising Morello with special guests Alex Lifeson of Rush fame and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett.
The track, as you might imagine, is a moveable feast of styles. Dr Fresch’s digital thumbprint is all over it, but that offers a groove big enough for Morello to pin a typically weighty riff to it. And there’s no mistaking when Hammett and Lifeson step up.
Hammett contributes a signature pentatonic wah pedal squawk – the sound that works so well as a power-up in Metallica’s compositions – and Lifeson adding a little prog-fusion mysticism to spice things up.
As for Morello? Well, he jockeys hard on his DigiTech Whammy pedal for pitch-shifted weirdness that is very on-brand for him.
This Atlas series of albums has seen Morello collaborate with some of rock’s biggest stars, with the RATM guitarist joined by Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder and going full-on weekend warrior with a cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell... A track so outrageous that its promo video could only be appropriately animated by a CGI fire elephant.
Notably, Morello recorded 95 per cent of his guitar parts to his iPhone after he had a Kanye-inspired technological epiphany in his home studio.
The Atlas Underground Flood is available now via Mom + Pop.
This has been a busy week for Morello. Only yesterday, MXR unveiled his signature overdrive pedal, the Power 50, which is designed to replicate the sound of his 50-watt Marshall JCM 800 2205 guitar amp head and Peavey 4x12 cabinet setup.
“The Power 50 Overdrive emulates the amp setup that I’ve used since 1988,” said Morello. “I’ve made 21 studio albums, and that amp, that head, and that speaker, and that tone has been on 21 of them. It’s been my signature identifiable sound since Day One of my career.”