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Music Review: Motorhead – Motorizer

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So, here we go with studio album number 24 from the legendary Motorhead, a band whose status is assured, and who have reached that point in their career where they are almost beyond criticism.  Now, as a fully paid up Motorheadbanger, I'm not going to be the one to start, but this is the third album in a row after Inferno and Kiss Of Death where the band has gone into the studio to be produced by Cameron Webb, and it's virtually interchangeable with them.  Which isn't a bad thing, just a predictable one.  So if someone asks me what the new Motorhead album sounds like, I can simply reply that it sounds like everything else they've done this century.

Now, I don't want you to go thinking that you shouldn't bother with Motorizer, because it is a good Motorhead album with some truly excellent songs like "Buried Alive", "Back On The Chain" and "Heroes".  The latter, in particular, is one of the best songs the band has recorded in the last ten years.  But then, there are throwaway numbers like "Rock Out", with its dreadful chorus, that makes you feel ever so slightly embarrassed.  I suppose it's understandable that the band should be chugging away comfortably.  After all, guitarist Phil Campbell has been in the band for 24 years and the new boy, drummer Mickey Dee, has been around for 16 years.  So, there won't be any surprises when they get together in the rehearsal room.

Some of the songs do sound like they could have been knocked out in half an hour, and it's when they take the time to put a few alternative flavours in that the album works best.  After a run of the mill start with "Runaround Man" where they recycle their own "Going To Brazil" riff, things take a step up in class with "Teach You How To Sing The Blues" and "When The Eagle Screams". The latter is the latest in a long line of Motorhead military two-steps.  The awful "Rock Out" is next, with the bluesy "One Short Life" also failing to impress.

"Buried Alive" is one of the album highlights and "English Rose" throbs away merrily in tribute to one of Lemmy's nasty girls before "Back On The Chain" revisits the classic "Damage Case" to good effect.  "Heroes" is a low down and dirty riff that twists the generic Motorhead sound into new shapes, and is well worth repeated plays.  "Time Is Right" just doesn't work for me at all, and has filler written all over it, before "The Thousand Names Of God" ends the album on a definite high.

Did I like this? Of course I did.  It's Motorhead, fool.  Is it any better than anything they've done since their last true classic, Bastards?  Not really.  Those of us who acknowledge that Motorhead are the greatest hard rock'n'roll band of all time will get off on it, but it certainly won't convert any non-believers. But for a band who's been on the go for 33 years, it's amazing they can still hit the heights from time to time.  As Lemmy says "This is yet another great album from me and the chaps. I think you should get three copies each. Buy it and avoid embarrassment later".  And who am I to argue.

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About Stuart A Hamilton

  • http://haggischorizo.blogspot.com/ Jimmy

    A balanced review Stuart, and a far better one than ever I could pen for a Motorhead album. I honestly don’t mind the catchy Rock Out, save for the exhibitionist promoting chorus lyric!
    You are right about the Runaround Man v Going to Brazil trade off

  • http://www.metal4life.co.uk Stuart A Hamilton

    Cheers Jimmy,

    It’s hard taking off my MHBanger head, but I did my best!