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Music Review: Motorhead – The World Is Ours – Vol 2 – Anyplace Crazy As Anywhere Else

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For Motorhead, there’s never enough of a good thing. For example, The World Is Ours – Vol 2 – Anyplace Crazy As Anywhere Else is the follow-up to 2011’s The World Is Ours – Vol 1 – Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else. Recorded in Santiago, Chile, Vol 1 was the first live set promoting Motorhead’s 20th album, The World Is Yours. Further demonstrating a complete lack of modesty, the new package is available as a digipack (DVD plus two CDs), a 2-CD set, a 2-vinyl record set, and as a 4-disc package: a Blu-ray, DVD, and 2 CDs with a booklet of tour photos. The latter collection is what we’re talking here.

In whatever edition you choose, The World Is Ours – Vol 2, the band’s seventh live offering, presumes fans want to hear every Motorhead concert possible in all available formats no matter how many repeated songs appear on any given package. For one thing, the song lists on Vol 2 are almost identical to the track list for Vol 1. Disc one presents 15 songs from the show that took place at Wacken Open Air, Germany, on August 8, 2011. After presenting two more tracks from that concert, the second CD presents highlights from two shows in the same year that recycle much of the same material. The first is six songs performed at the Sonisphere Festival, in the U.K., on July 10. The second is a set of five numbers recorded at the Rock in Rio show in Brazil, on September 25.

For those who want to see and not just hear, the entire program from Germany, England, and Brazil, is on a DVD also offering “Festival Impressions W:O:A” in Widescreen Audio, in either Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1. Exactly the same set is presented one more time on Blu-ray in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1. On both discs, it’s more than obvious Motorhead fans, wherever the band plays, can fill large festivals with no shortage of devotion and conspicuous knowledge of the group’s catalogue. On stage, it’s also clear this is one band with no lack of practiced confidence and triumphal presence.

Of course, we hear but see little of the crowd as they’re bathed in darkness with only their Motorhead hand gestures visible from time to time. In the main, the camera simply alternates between close-ups of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, Phil “Wizzo” Campbell, and Mikkey Dee, who are themselves bathed in alternating light show colors. We can see that there are two large-screens behind the band, which obviously are also showing Motorhead at work. Not until “The Bomber” do we get anything special, and it would be a spoiler to say what. In short, the visuals are appropriately primitive for a group whose whole point is to be straight-forward, no frills rock.

On all four discs, Motorhead aficionados can hear multiple renditions of the band’s standards like “Iron Fist,” “Ace of Spades,” “Killed by Death,” “Overkill,” and “In the Name of Tragedy.” The Wacken Open Air show offers two newer numbers, the single “Get Back in Line” and “I Know How to Die.” For the record, other longtime staples include “Metropolis,” “The Thousand Names of God,” and the grand finale, 1979’s “Bomber.” So some songs are offered up to nine times were a listener to delve into all four discs from start to finish.

Throughout, once again, Motorhead shows they have their power trio formula down pat and are sticking to it. After 35 years running the group, Lemmy still sings with his trademark gargling-with-razor-blades vocals. Campbell (guitar) and Dee (drums) continue to show they’re more than worthy of carrying the torch for a very long legacy. Being a three-piece band that prides itself on being loud and unrelentingly fast, Motorhead isn’t a difficult group to mix. Campbell’s guitar naturally carries the instrumental melody lines while Kilmister delivers his lyrics buried in the wall of sound. While Lemmy’s words aren’t always distinct, they help differentiate the songs from each other. Without them, Motorhead would be a rock and roll blur.

It might be uncharitable to suggest this release is essentially a place-holder as Motorhead doesn’t have its next studio release yet in the hopper. It might be even less charitable to suggest a more descriptive title, had Led Zeppelin not used The Song Remains the Same first. It’s a thrashing, speeding, heavy package for Motorhead completists only. Even then, I suspect most Motorhead heads will want to spread out the experience and not try to digest the full onslaught in a short time frame. It’s not bad, it’s just been there, done that, wrung out the t-shirt. In a word, it’s “Overkill.”

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