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Easily their worst. - 31%

Rael, June 19th, 2007

'March Or Die' sounds like Motorhead's full assimilation into the Hollywood life, in a most detrimental way. When Lemmy moved to L.A. after the 'Rock N Roll' album, it effectively became the band's new home base. And even though it was a fresher, slightly different Motorhead, the resulting album, '1916', still offered the bruised and brutish Motorhead we know and love. 'March Or Die' is the tame and tanned Motorhead many feared '1916' would be.

Or I could just say: 'March Or Die' is weak.

The production continues their move toward cleaner tones, but over the edge into sterility. Performances are fine, as usual, and hearing Mikkey Dee in a simpler format than King Diamond was novel at the time, but it would take him a couple albums to put his unique stamp on the Motorhead sound. But it's the songs themselves that don't measure up, making this a hit and mostly miss experience.

The bad:
"Cat Scratch Fever". Huh? Not only a completely pointless choice and useless version, but the second song? Not off to a good start.
"I Ain't No Nice Guy". Motorballads are always precarious territory. They usually don't work so well, and this is one of those. Co-vocalist Ozzy Osbourne (you've heard of him?) sounds pretty thin.
"Hellraiser". Speaking of Ozzy, this is one of his absolute worst songs (found on 'No More Tears'). Co-written by Lemmy, Motorhead has every right to do it, but it's still a silly song.
"Too Good To Be True". Sounds like one of the more limp-wristed efforts from 'Snake Bite Love'. Lame pub rock.

The bland:
"Stand". Not bad, just boring, and a lame way to kick off the album.
"Bad Religion". An attempt at darkness, but it rings hollow somehow.
"You Better Run". Standard blues run-through. Not great, but somehow Lemmy's voice always convinces in this context (see "Whorehouse Blues" from 'Inferno').
"Name In Vain". The usual hyper-boogie that will always find its way onto Motorhead albums. But they've done better stuff in this vein (no pun intended). The guitar solos are killer.

The good:
"Jack The Ripper". Just barely passes, as the too-sterile sound renders what is a fairly bloodthirsty track merely okay. As songwriting goes, one of the best efforts here. The lowdown halftime change near the end is very cool, and the solos rip.
"Asylum Choir". Midpaced and ass-kicking verse, with a melodic chorus; marries their early aggressive sound with the melodic elements that started coming in with 'Another Perfect Day'.
"March Or Die". Fucking great. A martial death-march that ends the album with a theatrical darkness, though hardly fitting of the Motorhead-lite that comes before it. Carries the vibe of "Orgasmatron" and "Nightmare / The Dreamtime".

Mostly leaves me cold. I believe this is the band's worst album. 'On Parole' is no classic either, but it's a more interesting album, and certainly more important in their discography than this bummer.