Just yesterday, we reported that Tom Morello was due to release a new EP, Comandante, today, Friday October 30 – it’s now available to hear, and we’re pleased to say it features some of the best playing of his career.
The mostly instrumental five-track release opens with an uncompromisingly punishing (not to mention brave) take on Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, where Morello’s wah – now available as a signature Dunlop Cry Baby – takes centre-stage, handling both Hendrix’s riffs and vocals.
That’s followed by the EP’s six-string centerpiece, Interstate 80, helmed by a 7#9-rooted riff and Morello’s riot chant vocals, before he trades volleys of licks with fellow Guitar Hero icon Slash.
Other tracks include Secretariat, a live toggle-switching take on Van Halen’s Cathedral and tribute to Eddie; sonic-trick showcase Suburban Guerilla; and neo-blues jam, Cato Stedman & Neptune Frost.
Morello’s arsenal of unconventional noises and accomplished traditional lead playing take equal billing throughout the EP – and where he does rely on his signature Whammy, scratching or toggle-switching, it serves the song, rather than feeling bolted on.
In short, we’d argue it’s some of the best material Morello has produced in quite some time. It’s true to his roots while delivering some fresh approaches to his trademark special moves.
And if he did indeed record all the tonesome guitar parts on his iPhone – as he told Guitar World earlier this year – you can forget everything you know about mic’ing amps…
Comandante is available now on streaming platforms.