There can’t be any rock band in the world that could release its 24th album and manage to maintain the same speaker shattering energy as they did with their first. Lord Lemmy and Motorhead main stays Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee manage to do just that with this, their new album, Motorizer (SPV Records). The success of Motorhead couldn’t be more straight forward – you know where you are, you know what you’ll get and you know that you’ll love it. Shoving two fingers up to trends, and to those who have tried to write them off throughout the ages, they have released another typical Motorhead album of solid rock n roll.
It’s almost as if Lemmy is hell bent on a life mission of providing a timeless definition of what rock music actually is for future generations. Despite living in Los Angeles for nearly twenty years he has lost none of his ability to write lyrics that capture the warped side of British humour. Finally awarded a Grammy back in 2005 Motorhead have achieved nothing short of legendary status. With Motorizer they have provided us with eleven slabs of rock 'n' roll concrete to pound out to your neighbour’s disgust. Go to any Motorhead gig and you see it in action – people old enough to really know better, head banging hair that is no longer there, before getting up for work the next day totally incapable of hearing anything, or constructing intelligible sentences. That is the awesome power that Motorhead generates.
So what does Motorizer give us that other Motorhead albums don’t? Well, in short, nothing. There is nothing earth shatteringly new but then again would we actually really want that? What we do get is another block in the monument that is Motorhead. Lemmy’s lyrics, so often underrated or even unnoticed under the wall of sound, are on form, particularly on, “When the Eagle Screams”. It is a military song and, knowing that it is a subject that rings Lemmy’s bell, it’s a safe bet that it works well. It’s full on war, death and battle. Right from the off when the driving riff that is “Runaround Man” opens up at full throttle we know we are back inside the dangerous world of Motorhead. It is music to make you want to quit your job, buy a Harley and take route 66 away from anything remotely sensible. Sad, I know, but that’s how powerful rock music should be – isn’t it? The audible shock when this track suddenly stops is quite amazing – silence – total silence before “Teach You How to Sing the Blues” kicks in with Lemmy literally menacingly growling the words at you.
“Rock Out” starts at such a pace that you literally have to catch your breath. A live anthem if ever I heard one. I can’t wait to see this live in their forthcoming tour. “English Rose” is infectious foot stamping rock of the best possible kind. As with most of their albums you really should try and cut through the incendiary riffs to listen to Lemmy’s lyrics particularly on tracks such as “One Short Life”, “Heroes” and “The Thousand Names of God” that has Lemmy spitting out wisely ‘the war is never over’.
Stand-outs are the fantastically wired drumming of Mikkey Dee, easily at the top of his game, Lemmys’ lyrics that snarl at the world and Phil Campbell who just gets better and better. Motorhead simply refuse to lie down and grow old gracefully. The obviousness of that statement is there in all its own ridiculous glory – of course they won’t. There would be such a huge gap left behind that many of today’s pale imitators would simply fall straight down the hole. Instead of merely churning out rehashed stuff they care about their loyal following and, dare I say, their legacy and have come up with an album that will keep even the most rabid fan satisfied.
To find out more about Motorhead you can visit thier official website.