Tom Morello Readies Second Album of 2021, 'Atlas Underground Flood' - Rolling Stone
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Tom Morello Readies Second Album of 2021, ‘Atlas Underground Flood’

Tom Morello and Grandson debuted “Hold the Line” – off Atlas Underground Fire on The Tonight Show

Hours after Tom Morello appeared on The Tonight Show to perform “Hold the Line” with the help of Grandson, the guitarist announced his second LP of 2021, The Atlas Underground Flood, out Dec. 3rd.

The Atlas Underground Flood serves as a “sister album” to Morello’s The Atlas Underground Fire, which arrived in October. Like its predecessor, the upcoming LP is an all-star affair, with a guest list that includes Jim James, Rush’s Alex Lifeson, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Nathaniel Rateliff, Manchester Orchestra, Ben Harper, X Ambassadors and many more. Flood is available to preorder now.

Ahead of the album’s December release, Morello shared a trio of songs from Flood, “Hard Times,” “Raising Hell” and “Human”:

The Atlas Underground Flood finishes what The Atlas Underground Fire started,” Morello said in a statement. “Fire and Flood are my London Calling. Admiring The Clash at their apex moment, I sought to make a double album where artistic intent supersedes genre. I aimed to forge a central curated vision to tie together a sonically fearless, wild, and wide-ranging musical ambition with a tremendous cast of collaborators. And of course, there are many guitar solos.”

Performing from inside what looks like a bunker on Tonight Show, Morello and Grandson give a raucous take on the tune, which underscores the importance of strike action. In the clip, Grandson flips through a collection of signs featuring various workers unions, each of which has gone on strike. “Hold the Line” comes off Morello’s new album, The Atlas Underground Fire. The album features a guest list that includes Grandson, Chris Stapleton, Damian Marley, Bring Me the Horizon, Phantogram, Mike Posner, and more.

Recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, Morello first laid down the tracks in his Los Angeles home studio before sending the riffs off to his collaborators around the globe.

“During lockdown, I had no access to an engineer so I had to record all of the guitar parts on the voice memo of my phone. This seemed like an outrageous idea but it led to a freedom in creativity in that I could not overthink any of the guitar parts and just had to trust my instincts,” Morello said of the LP. “This record was a life raft in a difficult time that allowed me to find new ways of creating new global artistic connections that helped transform a time of fear and anxiety into one of musical expression and rocking jams.”

The album also features a fiery rendition of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” featuring Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder.

The Atlas Underground Flood Track List
1. A Radical in the Family (feat. San Holo)
2. Human (feat. Barns Courtney)
3. Hard Times (feat. Nathaniel Rateliff, Jim James, and Chipotle Joe)
4. You’ll Get Yours (feat. X Ambassadors)
5. I Have Seen the Way (feat. Alex Lifeson, Kirk Hammett, and Dr. Fresch)
6. The Lost Cause (feat. Manchester Orchestra)
7. The Maze (feat. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness)
8. Ride At Dawn (feat. BreakCode)
9. Raising Hell (feat. Ben Harper)
10. The Bachelor (feat. IDLES)
11. Parallels (feat. Jim James)
12. Warrior Spirit (feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela)

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