“Cochise” by Audioslave (2002)

“Cochise” answered a question that was rattling around in my head for years prior.

Q: Why don’t I like Rage Against The Machine?

A: Zach De La Rocha

RATM’s music was devastating from an instrumental perspective. But no matter how many times I tried to listen to their albums, I’d find myself reaching for the “skip” or “eject” button on my CD player. I agree with their politics, so I knew that wasn’t the reason. Then Audioslave came around. Audioslave is ¾ of Rage Against The Machine, with de la Rocha swapped out for Chris Cornell. Substituting the Soundgarden vocalist in for just about anyone would be a trade up. In Audioslave’s case, it was a revelation. At least as far as my ears were concerned.

“Cochise” blew my wig back the first time I heard it on headphones. It’s so fucking powerful. Tim C, Brad and Tom are locked into a groove. Cornell just fucking wails. And then delivers one of the most piercing screams in recorded history. My God, it’s good. Top 5 scream. So what if the main riff and the verse melody are very reminiscent of Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”? It’s not like Page, Plant and the others haven’t done their share of borrowing over the years.

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