BB&T Pavilion – Camden, New Jersey – 20 August, 2016
Words and Photos by Scott Smith
Rage Against The Machine bassist, Tim Commerford, pulled double duty on August 20, 2016 playing bass for his band Wakrat (pronounced Wok-rat), and also for Prophets of Rage, for whom Wakrat opened in Camden, NJ. The punk/hardcore trio consists of drummer, Mathias Wakrat, and guitarist, Laurent Grangeon. During an interview, Commerford told Rolling Stone that he was introduced to Wakrat by his former Rage Against The Machine bandmate, Zack de la Rocha. Commerford and Wakrat shared a passion for mountain biking and music. Their friendship ultimately led to the creation of the band.
Their self-titled 10 song album is currently available for preorder and will be released on November 8, 2016. The band released two singles, “Knucklehead” in 2015 and “Generation Fucked,” this year. The songs are raw and powerful, with both covering heavy subject matter. According to Commerford, “Knucklehead” is about feeling trapped and alone, which stems from personal matters that he suffered through. “Generation Fucked” is a politically fueled song that examines the problems today’s world.
As the lead singer, Commerford’s gravelly, no-nonsense vocal is a perfect fit for the band’s bold and complex sound. Their set was furious and fast as they tore through a 35-minute set that included “Knucklehead” and “Generation Fucked.” The set included other songs from their upcoming album. The tunes were rancorous and edgy, and each delved into socio-political issues, as fans expect from Commerford. Although I wasn’t familiar with their unreleased material, the songs were a hard-hitting, frenzied and in-your-face style that kept me and the growing crowd on our feet, anxious to see what was coming next.
It’s great seeing bands at large venues, but it would have been fitting to see Wakrat in a small, sweaty club complete with mosh pit. Wakrat’s sound and style demands an up close and personal experience. They’re loud, they’re brash and they’ll get your adrenaline soaring. Wakrat will continue with the Make America Rage Again tour through October, so make sure you arrive at the show early to catch their set. Hopefully we’ll see them on their own tour next year in support of their new album.