Reporting on Tom Morello’s musical output is becoming a full-time profession in itself. Fresh off the back of recent collaborations with – deep breath – K.Flay, Pussy Riot, Dennis DeYoung, The Pretty Reckless and Serj Tankian, the Rage Against the Machine guitar anarchist has now joined forces with EDM giants The Bloody Beetroots for a new seven-track EP, The Catastrophists.
The EP’s first single, Radium Girls, gives an idea of what to expect. Similar in sonic scope to the riff-dance hybrids found on Morello’s 2019 collaborative effort, The Atlas Underground, the track teams Morello’s toggle-switching and helicopter chops with a massive bass-heavy production.
Radium Girls – which features a Morello-directed video – was co-written with Jehnny Beth from Savages, Carl Restivo, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and Simone Cogo, and features Aimee Interrupter, Mish Way and The Last Internationale on vocals.
“Four extraordinary women and the ferocious production of The Bloody Beetroots breathe life into the true story of the Radium Girls, young Illinois factory workers who were the victims of one of the most heinous crimes in U.S. industrial history,” says Morello.
“I spent every summer as a kid near Ottawa, Illinois where these doomed girls used deadly radium-laced paint to make glow in the dark watches. They were encouraged to lick the paintbrushes to a point to increase productivity and profit and in the end their bones literally fell apart from cancer and they were so toxic they had to be buried in lead lined coffins.
“The resulting court cases and publicity led to historic nationwide labor protection legislation. Every year I place flowers at the small monument to these quiet heroes and this song is dedicated to their memory.”
The Catastrophists is out on June 18. It was executive-produced by Morello, and produced by The Bloody Beetroots, along with Carl Restivo.
The EP’s full tracklisting – which includes a fresh remix of Pussy Riot collaboration Weather Strike – is below:
- The Devil's Infantry
- Radium Girls (feat. PUSSY RIOT, Aimee Interrupter, Mish Way and THE LAST INTERNATIONALE)
- Lightning Over Mexico (feat. Ana Tijoux)
- Keep Going
- Weather Strike (The Bloody Beetroots Remix) (feat. PUSSY RIOT)
- Field Of Tigers
- Mary Celeste