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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M starting pitcher/relief pitcher Emiley Kennedy (11) hands the ball to starting pitcher/relief pitcher Brooke Vestal (19) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ comeback falls short in 9-8 loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 25, 2024

As the fifth inning drew to a close in Texas A&M softball’s Super Regional matchup with No. 1 Texas on Saturday, the Aggies found themselves...

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Slave to mediocrity

Audioslave has done it again: Modern rock’s first supergroup (the voice of Soundgarden with the noise of Rage Against the Machine) has released a mediocre rock record. Despite its few gems, “Out of Exile” does little to improve upon the band’s previous self-titled release. Don’t call it a sophomore slump; instead, look at it as if they’ve repeated freshman year and recycled their previous bands’ notes.The album begins with its second single, “Your Time Has Come.” Its driving rock and catchy chorus will satisfy you for the first 10 listens, but soon listeners will realize they’ve heard this song before. It sounds like every other riff Audioslave has ever written, and could very well be a Rage song if singer Chris Cornell would rap over it. Drummer Brad Wilks even breaks out the cowbells that he occasionally bashed to kingdom come in his Rage days. A pleasingly atypical solo from guitarist Tom Morello levitates until it almost touches the atmosphere without overshadowing the track’s monotony.The title track “Out of Exile” begins with a drum cadence mirrored by Morello’s guitar scrapes – laying the groundwork for another signature Audioslave track. The verses regurgitate the band’s old recipe as well: Lay down a phat beat, finger a simple bass line foundation and add airy guitar beeps. However, the chorus does have an interesting break that harkens back to the rhythmic intro.”Be Yourself” played on the radio as a disappointing hint of things to come months before the album dropped. Cornell nearly drowns in cheese as he sings, “To be yourself is all you have to do.” Somehow the serious musical tone keeps the band afloat despite the cheesy lyrics. Like every song on the record, the guitar solo follows the second chorus. Morello narrowly escapes his own predictable “wah-wah” solo styling by throwing in a harmony at the end that makes listener’s twist their neck in surprise.”Doesn’t Remind Me” could be mistaken as a harmless Counting Crows cover. After listening to whimsical lyrics like, “I like gypsy moths and radio talk,” and “I like gospel music and canned applause,” listeners will be forgiven if they need to double-check the liner notes to see if Chris “Bulging Crotch Through Tight Leather Pants Wailer” Cornell is still the singer of what was once their favorite band. At least Morello escapes stereotype with a straight-up blues solo with no squeaks or pedal trickery.”Drown Me Slowly” features Morello’s most ambitious solo to date. It begins with his trademark sound effects – uncharacteristic discordant bends – and virtuosic ripping. Too bad it’s in the middle of a less-than-exciting song.”Heaven’s Dead” sounds like a leftover Bic lighter ballad from any ’80s hair-metal band. You’re better off to skip it and feast on the curiously titled “The Worm.” If you’ve ever wondered what a song would sound like if the verses were written by Led Zeppelin and the chorus by Black Sabbath, this is the song for you. The bombastic intro feeds into a wide-open call-and-response verse a la Zep’s “Black Dog.” Cornell redeems himself with his bluesy vocals and screeching chorus that bridges the distance between Sabbath and Soundgarden. Morello’s solo is absolutely ear-opening, sounding like a horse’s whine cranked to 11.”Man or Animal” exposes more campy lyrics from Cornell with yet another trademark solo that proves Digitech should pay Morello for making their Whammy pedal so popular amongst teenaged guitar shop junkies.”Yesterday to Tomorrow” begins with Tim Commerford’s surging Portishead bassline before yielding to a wave of guitar delay that leads the song into Audioslave at their spookiest – or at least their most uncomfortable. Don’t trust your ear. Those are not chimes in the chorus, as assured by the band’s usual liner notes claim, “All sounds made by guitar, bass, drums and vocals.””Dandelion” unashamedly cops LedZep, especially in the bridge. Let’s hope Audioslave doesn’t pull a Whitesnake and devote their career to the highest form of flattery: imitation. “#1 Zero” and “The Curse” do not end the album with a bang, only more predictable riffs and wails. It’s confusing as to how a band full of excellent musicians can no longer write amazing songs. Kudos to Audioslave for finding new rock and roll legs after their previous bands’ demises, but maybe playing together for so long has left them out of creative options.

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