Photo by: Noah Belman

Test the chains, gnaw the screws, we are many, they are few

“The goal was a very lofty one and it was to forge a sonic conspiracy of diverse artist to shape a new genre of rock n’ roll.”

Enter The Atlas Underground — Tom Morello’s new solo record, released October 12th. If you attended any of Morello’s recent 15-show fall tour, you will notice the word “experience” was added to the end phrase, as that’s exactly what The Atlas Underground is.

Morello recently explained to Google, “This record has artists of diverse genres, diverse ethnicities, diverse ages and diverse genders — that in it of itself is a statement in these very divisive times. Also, the thematic thread that runs through the record is social justice ghost stories, and the idea that the heroes and martyrs and fallen of the past can inform the struggles of the present and hopefully light a beacon towards a more just and humane future by giving voice to the voiceless.”

There is no denying The Atlas Underground foundational layers containing Morello’s signature style mixed with pushing the boundaries of deconstructing the elements of the six-string axe. But over the top, there are profound lyrics that drive a parallel lane to Morello — setting the speed in the left. What’s fascinating here, is each set of lyrics is by a different artist spread throughout various genres.

In sequence, the first lyric you hear on the record is, “I see what’s happening, I can read between the lines.” And the last lyric you hear on the record is, “We are many, they are few.” Sprinkled in between are an array of potent statements — some in the form of “fuck you”, some in the form of an entire bridge, and some in the form of just five words.

“Every Step That I Take”

Every time I move
Every step that I take
Everywhere I look
It’s right in front of my face
One foot in the shadows
One foot on the brakes
One foot towards the gallows
Where it’s quiet and safe

“Rabbits Revenge”

This time around the revolution’s televised

“Find Another Way”

Now I pray like a vulture
Send my truth to the wind

“We Don’t Need You”

Don’t lie to me, don’t bother me
Can’t, can’t a cage hold this demon inside of me

“How Long”

From the red ropes to the masses
We are one and the same…

And how long can we dance around
The hungry mouths, the burning streets?

“Lucky One”

I want a million bucks, I wanna fly to mars
I wanna die for love, I wanna touch the stars
I wanna finish first, I wanna make my place
I wanna move the earth, I wanna make it shake
I wanna be your boss, don’t wanna sell my soul
I wanna take it off, I wanna have control
I wanna have control, control, control
I wanna be the lucky one

“Vigilante Nocturno”

Let foes of justice tremble

“Where It’s At Ain’t What It Is”

Hold me down, nah
Where it’s at ain’t what it is


My lane, my game
I came through the desert
Till it became
My role, my goal, my soul
In the desert
Till it became
My own

“Lead Poising”

Overindulgence of power, a monstrous binge
This creates anger, make me want to seek revenge…
…Test the chains
Gnaw the screws
We are many
They are few

The Atlas Underground Tracklist:
01. Battle Sirens (feat. Knife Party)
02. Rabbit’s Revenge (feat. Bassnectar, Big Boi, Killer Mike)
03. Every Step That I Take (feat. Portugal. The Man, Whethan)
04. We Don’t Need You (feat. Vic Mensa)
05. Find Another Way (feat. Marcus Mumford)
06. How Long (feat. Steve Aoki, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath)
07. Lucky One (feat. K. Flay)
08. One Nation (feat. Pretty Lights)
09. Vigilante Nocturno (feat. Carl Restivo)
10. Where It’s At Ain’t What It Is (feat. Gary Clark Jr., Nico Stadi)
11. Roadrunner (feat. Leikeli47)
12. Lead Poisoning (feat. GZA, RZA, Herobust)

Visit for exclusive The Atlas Underground bundles including a special edition book that features all the lyrics

Photos courtesy of Noah Belman, follow on Instagram here