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Two years after Kiss of Death, and Motörhead are back like clockwork to unleash another slab of kick ass heavy metal: Motörizer.
The problem when reviewing a Motörhead album is that you have to state the obvious a lot. So here’s an early example: this album sounds very similar to the rest of their catalogue and makes no major departures from their signature sound. However, this album is more diverse than much of their recent output. The songs range from classic Motörheadbanging anthems (see Rock Out) to boot-stomping rock ‘n’ roll tunes (see English Rose, sister track to Kiss of Death’s Christine) to more grooving bluesy tracks (see One Short Life). These styles are all very similar and all something Motörhead has been doing for a while, but here they’ve collected all them all together and it works excellently.
Now as I said before, there are no major changes to the Motörhead sound. This is true; however, there are some minor ones. Motörizer is more melodic than some of their previous releases, but the added melody isn’t overbearing, or even that noticeable. All it serves to do is add an air of maturity to the album that shows that, even though they can and will behave like a bunch of wankers, they actually know what the fuck they’re doing on their instruments.
Speaking of which, the performances on Motörizer are phenomenal, as usual. What do you expect? Motörhead is a tight band that, and, while they have slowed down a bit (in tempo) with age, they’ve only become a tighter and all around better band as time goes on. Lemmy’s voice sounds better here than it ever has as he croaks lyrics that range from the perverse (Buried Alive) to the thought provoking (The Thousand Names of God) to the nonsensical (Runaround Man). His bass works fantastically well under Phil’s guitar. Listen closely and you’ll here that classic rumbling bass of his doing some interesting and slightly unorthodox things (one of the benefits of having Lemmy’s unique style and sound). Phil Campbell really stands out on this album, more so than he usual. He has a few solos that really showcase how good of a guitar player he actually is. He is the strong backbone of the band, and should be credited as such. Mikkey Dee sounds a bit different here than he has in the past; his style seems slightly simpler and generally less flashy. This does not, however, cause his performance lose any of its trademarked intensity. He is still “the best drummer in the world” as Lemmy likes to put it.
Cameron Webb is back as producer for the third [LOOK THIS UP] time and he does an excellent job, as usual. Inferno and Kiss of Death sounded virtually identical, but Motörizer sounds a bit different to my ears. It’s obvious it’s the same producer, but Phil’s guitar and Lemmy’s bass are more distinguished from eachother, rather than being one blurred noise as on a few tracks from the previous two albums. Lemmy’s bass is more prominent this time around, giving the guitar and bass equal roles in the mix.
This album defiantly rocks. All the tracks are stand out tracks, althoug the weakest link of the bunch is probably Heroes, which overstays its welcome by about 45 seconds. Additionally, didn’t love a few the first couple times I spun the album. Tracks like Back on the Chain or The Time is Right I considered to be just filler on the way to better tracks like The Thousand Names of God (excellent fucking song by the way, strongest Motörhead album closer in years), but after a while they grew on me quite a bit. Back on the Chain is actually one of my favorites these days. To me this album sounds like Kiss of Death meets Overnight Sensation meets Bastards. Enjoy metalheads and rejoice. The new Motörhead has finally arrived, and it is one of their most satisfying to date.