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"Look, if I see things as being f*cked, I'm gonna tell you they're f*cked. I can't sit there any say, 'Oh, everything's nice because I've got a new Porsche...[not that I do]." - Lemmy
1986 was such a landmark year for metal already that a new Motorhead album must have seemed like extra icing on an already dense, heavy cake. During a time when the metal genre seemed inexorably careening into ever-crazier realms of extremity, Orgasmatron was an important reminder that metal's roots were unforgotten. At the time, it was the first studio effort from Lemmy and friends in three years--which is a long time for them!
Assuming they spent all that time just drinking and writing, the effort really shows: the songs on Orgasmatron are some of the band's finest...and angriest.
Unlike the gentlemen of Motorhead themselves, I'm not as critical of Orgasmatron's production, which was mixed by an engineer from the then-untested, 80s hip-hop world. It can sound a bit thin and tinny at times, but it's nothing to really complain about. Lemmy's vocals are a bloodthirsty roar throughout, the best and clearest I've heard from those whiskey-soaked pipes. Especially on "Claw," where he tries his hand at a climbing, banshee yell. "Deaf Forever" is a rousing call to attention, a fist-raising rally of shouts calling the fans to order. "Nothing Up My Sleeve" is noteworthy to me for its well-phrased, Old West style guitar solo.
Despite the hot start, I think this is one of those albums where the second half is even better than the first, and a key factor is the title track, a dark anti-religion-and-politics scree. "Orgasmatron" finds Lemmy diving below the audio surface of his usual yell. The song is deceptively simple, but it is Motorhead's sheer force of will that makes it a classic. It is an unstoppable march. Sepultura covered the song as well, and Max Cavalera claims he got completely hammered just so he could experience what it was like to rip through a Motorhead cover while blackout drunk. I'm surprised he made it through the intense lyrics:
"Your bones will build my palaces
Your eyes will stud my crown."
Not all the songs are angry, though. The live classic "Doctor Rock" has been the Motorhead show opener for many years, and it's a rollicking fun time. I wonder how many headbangers have complimented a woman by telling her she has "a body like a Marshall stack." If you do attempt this and she responds well...keep her.
Another reason the second half of Orgasmatron rips even more than the first is "Mean Machine," one of the band's fastest all-time tracks. The band is simply all over this song in tight form, and then you have two of Lemmy's most autobiographical songs to follow. They describe his life to a T, "not giving a good god damn" (in "Built For Speed") and "spitting in the devil's eye" (in "Ridin With the Driver"). "Don't you listen to a single word against rock n' roll" is a lyric that rings with ultimate truth in its delivery.
Sadly the world is no less of a shitshow today than it was in Lemmy's 1986. But like the hell-train on Orgasmatron's cover, the force of Motorhead's music remains an unstoppable ride with a big grin and a big Jack and Coke into the future...one that is better, or worse.
Written by and for www.headofmetal.com
Released after a major lineup change, Orgasmatron is Motörhead's first full studio album to feature a two guitar lineup. The style has changed a great deal from albums such as Ace of Spades. Instead of a holding a rock and roll style, Orgasmatron takes some influence from the thrash metal that Motörhead was a major influence on.
Like most good metal albums, Orgasmatron has a raging opener. "Deaf Forever" has an extremely simple riff and strong structure, but it is fucking heavy. It contains some pretty serious lyrics, which is something new for Motörhead, as most of their earlier lyrics were more about fun and games. There are even Viking references in "Deaf Forever". The more serious themes are present throughout Orgasmatron, along with typical Motörhead sex, drugs, and rock and roll lyrics.
Songs such as "Nothing Up My Sleeve" and "Ain't My Crime" are fun, speed metal type songs that contrast with the darker, political and antireligious tendencies of songs like "Orgasmatron", which is one of the best songs on Orgasmatron. While it is actually one of the slowest songs on the album, if not the slowest, "Orgasmatron" takes a lot of inspiration from bands like Metallica and Megadeth, with its political lyrics. It is definitely new territory for Motörhead, as is the war themed opener.
Orgasmatron has what, in the realm of Motörhead, could be considered epics. Most of Motörhead's songs are fast, under three minute tracks. Nothing on Orgasmatron goes on for much longer than a short five mintues, but this is long for Motörhead. Also, with darker, more serious themes, and more musically mature song structures, Orgasmatron becomes even more of an "epic" type album. The most "epic" songs on Orgasmatron are "Deaf Forever", "Orgasmatron", and "Built for Speed". "Built for Speed" is a nice, fun metal anthem. It is about the typical sex, drugs, and rock and roll stuff, but it puts these lyrics into the format of an epic song.
Despite the darker stuff, Orgasmatron is an album loaded with humor. The title of the album is the first instance of humor you will notice. "Orgasmatron"- it sounds like some brand of vibrator. Actually, it was named after something from a comic book. The title track is very deceptively titled, as it is actually the most serious song on the album. Still, it gives a good laugh while you listen. "Claw", also known as "ClawBomber" on some versions. This may be a misprint of some sort. "Claw" contains a hilarious sexual reference. It is clearly one of the more fun songs on Orgasmatron.
After the fun "Ridin' With the Driver", and the rather humorous "Doctor Rock", comes "Orgasmatron", the albums centerpiece that also happens to be the closing track. "Orgasmatron" is a dark, slow epic. It has some of the greatest lyrics ever written. It is essentially a dark poem about the main ills of society- politics, religion, and war, from Lemmy's point of view. Not only are the lyrics themselves the most powerful lyrics Lemmy has ever written, the vocal delivery is also Lemmy's most powerful. This is especially evident on the last verse about war. His voice is low and grinding, as opposed to his usual, dry rasp. This is most likely where Abbath Doom Occulta of Inmortal got the idea for singing like he does. While actually a quite simple song, "Orgasmatron" is definitely the best part of the album. It is insanely heavy, and it has a great solo that is actually quite rock and roll influenced.
Orgasmatron is a very underrated album, and one of Motörhead's best releases. It is a must have. I would even say that it should be one of the first Motörehead albums you buy.
In a year which produced such albums as Master of Puppets and Reign of Blood which were carrying metal music into its bold and aggressive future, the 7th studio album from legends Motörhead served as a beloved contrast, a study in the rock and roll fury of the medium's past. From its iconic hellish train cover image, Barbarella inspired title to the steady distorted thrum of Lemmy's bass, it's yet another of the band's myriad classics.
"Deaf Forever" makes for a nice lead-in with its steady rocking rhythm, dominating bass and shouting samples. The lyrics are also pretty serious business here as evident in the chorus:
'Sword and shield
Bone and steel
Deaf forever to the battles din'
"Nothing Up My Sleeve" follows the "Ace of Spades" format of fast and fun, shuffling blues metal with big chords below Lemmy's blue collar poetics. "Ain't My Crime" rocks the hell out, with a noisy guitar strumming above its chords. "Claw" is lowdown, dirty and mean and sexy. He just don't understand the power of the claw! "Mean Machine" is perfect Motörhead, raw and powerful metal blues performed like no other band. One of the best tracks on the album. "Built for Speed" is a mid-paced tribute to the rock and roll lifestyle. "Ridin' With the Driver" delivers a punk edge and "Doctor Rock" is a corny classic.
This is the same song in which Lemmy tells some lucky female inspiration she's got a body like a Marshall Stack. Grrowwrr! The title track "Orgasmatron" ends the album with its very simple rhythm and some of Lemmy's most gnarled and brutal vocals ever, despite the lack of many notes in the riffs it's almost hypnotic and another of the band's classics.
The entire album is slathered in a rotten, dirty production. You feel like you've just strolled into a bar in HELL and Motörhead is the house band. Expect some fightin' and at least one bottle broken over your head. Also expect not to be my friend if you don't like this, poseur!
‘Orgasmatron’ was the first Motörhead album in three years after the excellent but largely misunderstood ‘Another Perfect Day’. A completely new line up (with the exception of Lemmy of course) and years of record company troubles meant the band really had something to prove and ‘Orgasmatron’ not only proved this point but it forced your brains through your nose in the process.
‘Orgasmatron’ shows a healthy balance of the bands signature rock ’n’ roll swagger with more experimental touches, as such this may be more preferable to fans who found
‘Another Perfect Day’ too far removed from the ‘Fast’ Eddie era. I do however have one point of contention with ‘Orgasmatron’, its mix is pretty bizarre. At times the guitars seem to disappear from the mix completely which is especially odd considering that what was then a newly twin guitar band should surely have more guitar, right? The actual production sound itself is fine with a particularly excellent drum sound…but the mix is as iffy as four week old seafood.
Performance wise the band play with a youthful exuberance of a band who know they can rock like bastards, but just haven’t been able to put it down to record yet. As such the ‘Orgasmatron’ displays a vitality and hunger that is essential to a great Motörhead record. Guitarist’s Würzel and Phil Campbell have distinctive yet complementary styles fitting within the established Motörhead mould but instantly recognisable. Würzel (along with being a scarecrow) is the more off the wall of the two relying on over the top bends, trills and even his fairly distinctive take on tapping, in all it makes for a great fun listen. Phil on the other hand is more reserved in his style, being more of a traditional blues rock base with a definite touch of class. In addition to this the pair fit in with the general tradition of Motörhead hell raising for instance Phil drank two bottles of vodka a day in the mid 80’s and Würzel listed his ambitions as getting up in the morning and drinking as much as he could…Gentlemen, I salute you! Other new boy here is Pete Gill ,of Saxon fame (or not), who is a great drummer with a pounding double bass sound. However, Pete proved to be a bit of an odd character (even by Motörhead standards!) who kept a note book with all kinds of bizarre things like ‘Phil Campbell owes me 50p’ and apparently enjoyed flashing himself in public. Lem, as always sounds like a plane taking off. But lyrically he puts down some truly excellent work, even by his own lofty standards. The title track happens to be everyone’s favourite set of Motörhead lyrics, focusing on the macabre side of organised religion which a finesse and elegance that few could match. But lyrical themes are varied and interesting from more darkness and horror in say ‘Deaf Forever’ to classy double entendres (no really, stay with me!) such as ‘Your magic circle ain't where's its at’ the circle would be the physiological effect of girls on men…women are sorcerers because they can give men an erection from a distance, magical prick teasers don’t y’know! Splendid, learn along with Lem.
‘Orgasmatron’ does featuring some new ideas for Motörhead. First of all they open with a mid paced number, eschewing the often used ploy (not only by Motörhead) of opening with a bit of speed metal. ‘Deaf Forever’ however is rather excellent number driven along by some deliciously simple riffs and rudimentary drum work (bare a few killer fills). The chorus is ridiculously catchy and I like the little shouty thing at the end of each line. The title track itself is built around a bass drone and although cut from the same cloth as ‘Deaf Forever’ it’s heavier, morbid and menacing. A truly haunting song condensing all the horror of thousands of years of plebiscite misery into…oh, about five and a half minutes. It’s written from an interesting perspective too, from kind of religion as a omnipresent and prevalent being looking at all the suffering its caused in glee. This is anti-organised religion lyrics done exceptionally well; eloquent and poetic without “God is gay, hail Satan!” Kerry Kingism’s.
But as always we do get are beloved straight-forward rockers and gee whiz aunt Mary aren’t their some corkers! ‘Dr Rock’ is a lively and bouncy number and a stalwart of their live set to this day. It’s got some nice lead bass work and doesn’t have a proper guitar solo but rather a noise that sounds like a helicopter…Jawsome! ‘Built For Speed’ is shining example of one of Lemmy’s many odes to the power, splendour and majesty of rock (which in fact is so majestic that one can use heroic diction). Musically, its got a drum intro to die for, some simply divine riffs (as in their simple and divine) and a nice trade off section, which Phil comes out trumps in by making a noise that goes like this *naw naw naw naw* , not that Würzel is slacking either. On the rest of the album we get lots of lovely straight forward loud, fast and furious rock ’n’ roll, all which are catchy. So it’s pretty clear ‘Orgasmatron’ is all out arse kicking rock album.
1986 may have been the year of thrash, but once again Motörhead proved there just isn’t a substitute for the new religion, the electric church…rock ’n’ roll. Let it live, let it live. Somewhat of an overlooked classic by the music press and some more casual Motörhead fans, ‘Orgasmatron’ is worthy of a place in any rock fans collection.
MotÃ¶rhead need no introductions. They've been chugging out pummeling, riff-heavy rock music for the better part of the last 30 years, and they show no sign of stopping soon. This was their 8th full length offering, Orgasmatron, and it's exactly what you'd expect from these dinosaurs of rock - Lemmy Kilmister's charismatic gritty snarl layered over a jubilantly energetic bucketful of grooving hard rock riffs and juicy, luscious classic metal solos. MotÃ¶rhead have always stuck to this formula, and it's a much-needed breath of fresh air when you consider the ridiculous levels that some bands take their "progressions" to these days. People always cite repetition as a drawback to music, but that is a flawed generalization - this, while sticking to the same formula throughout, kicks a lot of ass.
Every song here is very good, with the best probably being the title track, which is a slower, grinding number with cool lyrics and an excellent groove, with a vocal performance that will send chills down your spine, followed closely by the opening ass-stomper "Deaf Forever," which will never come out of your head, no matter how much you try. "The Claw" is another awesome song, pretty typical for MotÃ¶rhead, except with a better chorus then usual, and perhaps a bit more speed too. But fuck, every single track smokes, and this is the album you want to put on for a good time. This is the same formula they've always used, and why mess with success? Who really needs a bunch of flashy bells-and-whistles "progressions" to such a great Metal backbone in the first place? Orgasmatron rocks, and MotÃ¶rhead rocks, and if you just want something that rocks without any semblance of pretension or artistry, then turn to this. That's all that needs to be said.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
Motörhead have never made a “bad” studio album, but they have never made a “perfect” studio album either. However, between 1986 and 1993 they came pretty close three times: with “1991”, (the first 3 quarters of) “Bastards” and “Orgasmatron”. (see my profile for a complete list of my ratings for all Motörhead albums)
In 1982 “Fast” Eddie Clarke gave way to new guitarist Brian Robertson, who played on 1983’s fantastic “Another Perfect Day”. Although he didn’t fit the band attitude-wise, to say the least, he added a new dimension to Motörhead’s sound. It was however the introduction of Phil Campbell and Wurzel in 1984, that enabled the band to record a few of their best albums. And this line-up started off with a bang, ‘cause the first thing the world heard of them was the single for one of the true Metal anthems of all time: “Killed By Death”.
I got to know this band in 1985 or 1986 and I think it was the video for this song that introduced me to them. (You know, Lemmy jumping out of a grave on a bike…) That was just the right time to come into touch with Motörhead, because they were just about to release their true masterpiece!
Many people seem to have a problem with the sound, but I still can’t relate to this. Yes, this is certainly no 80’s-Mutt-Lange-Million-Dollar-production, and maybe Bill Laswell didn’t even know how to produce that kind of music (even my 1997 reissue CD version has a few dropouts at the beginning of a few songs), but in the end, he managed to get a sound, that was raw as fuck - the kind of sound that, I guess, a lot of punk bands would kill for - plus he added a few small but effective details that put the finishing touches on a few songs, e.g. the drum sound before the chorus in “Claw” or at the beginning of “Mean Machine”.
This album shows Motörhead at their fiercest: Just listen to the completely out-of-time drumming at the beginning and at the end of the afore-mentioned “Mean Machine”, which sounds like Pete Gill running amok, or Lemmy’s insane screaming at the end of “Claw”, and you know what I mean.
From the 9 songs found on here, “Doctor Rock” is the only “lighter” one. The rest is fast or anthemic mid-tempo stuff. Motörhead seemed to have counted more on the mid-tempo tracks, as they took “Deaf Forever” and “Built For Speed” (renamed “On The Road”) for the single. The third slower one is the well-known title track; a song that, in my opinion, no band should ever try to cover. Although I don’t think that it’s better than the other tracks on here, it seems to be perfect as it is, as proven by all the bands that have tried to cover it (including Sepultura), but didn’t even come close to the intensity of the original.
This is basically a perfect album, and the only thing that prevents this album from getting a 100% rating is the (good, but not quite perfect) chorus of “Mean Machine”.
I’ve just realized that this album has recently been released as a double CD (2006), including a shitload of live tracks plus the songs that have already been on the 1997 re-release, i.e. the b-sides of the “Deaf Forever” 12” and an alternative version of “Claw”.
I’ve listened to this album many, many, many times during the past 20 years, but it just won’t wear out. “Orgasmatron” will always be one of the most important albums of my life, needless to say that it stands as one of the best albums ever made!
My fellow Motorhead fans often evince scorn and derision for this album, wringing their hands at the new improved sound the band brought forth with then new and expanded line up. But when a band has a catalog as deep as this and generally of superior consistent quality, opinions are sure to be passionate and obstinate. To bring the reader up to speed history wise, this album was Motorhead’s first after the general membership disintegration of ’84. Following the cliff notes version of the band’s past that was No Remorse, the band got into major legal scrapes with Bronze records, and found themselves unemployed soon after. However GWR records signed the band and dropkicked them into the studio will NYC dance and hip hop producer supreme Bill Laswell. An odd choice, sure, but the sonic evidence is what should be considered, not the guy’s past.
And so, on to Orgasmatron…it’s undeniably a “different” entry in the band’s work, and for a few reasons. Firstly, two of it’s best tracks (both musically and lyrically, Lemmy’s poetry had taken on superior quality by this time) sounded much better when played live then in their somewhat squashed versions here. Said cuts, “Built For Speed” and the titanic “Dead Forever” would come across much finer backed with the full concert battery of the band’s legendary concert volume, as here they sound a touch sonically compressed. Some thrashy quickies are also along for the ride, both of them uniformly fine, if not exactly legendary (“Ridin’ With The Driver,” “Mean Machine”) and “Doctor Rock” is a fine fall to your knees and repent if you please sermon of metal intent from king Lem. Both Wurzel and Campbell give good accounts of themselves as the new guitars on hand, and the drum production is thunder, pure and simple (what did you expect from a hip hop producer).
But the true monolith here is the title song, a stomping, cavernous diatribe about world control systems, delivered by Lemmy in a nearly monotone croak that would make it’s intended targets crap their bloomers if they ever got to lend ears to it. Playing the roles of Preacher, Politician and War itself, Lemmy let’s us know that obedience is death, the bastards are all out to grind us down, and unless we wise the hell up, we’re all doomed. But never mind my less that astute assessment of this. Let’s let Lemmy speak for himself:
I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.
I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in your pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the politician, and I decide your fate
I march before a martyred world, an army for the fight
I speak of great heroic days, of victory and might
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will built my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.
My friends, it just does not get any heavier than that. A side note: this album came out in 1986, two years after Bronze records had written the band off as a spent force. It’s 20 plus years later as I write this, and the band have two more decades of strong, possibly even better material behind them. Nothing like hindsight, eh?
I am totally surprised that nobody has reviewed this album on this site! This was one of the albums that really got me going over Motorhead, along with "No Remorse" among many others. It has everything you could ever want from Lemmy AKA "God" & Co.; loose, bluesy, Bo Diddley-inspired riffing (most of Lemmy's riffs are variants on that classic syncopated 4/4 rhythm), devastating crunch and wailing solos from the dual guitar tandem of Phil Campbell and Wurzel, Pete Gill's thundering double kick drumming, Lemmy's utterly unique vocals snarling out lyrics of violence and mayhem..what's there not to like?
The only reason this did not get 100 is the production, as Bill Laswell didn't quite have the right idea as to how to capture this raging locomotive (to coin one of their best tunes with this lineup)of a band. As a result, the sound is thinner than I prefer, but you can still hear everything perfectly well, especially Lemmy's trademark Texas chainsaw bass massacre!
Standout tracks...umm, the whole album? OK, my faves: "Deaf Forever", "Claw", "Mean Machine" (total speed metal madness!), "Riding With The Driver", "Doctor Rock", and naturally the monolithic title track, which rides in on an ominous, spine-chilling wave of feedback and noise and segues into one of the best songs Lemmy has ever written, with that ultra-heavy bass riff anchoring the tune, and some of his best lyrics concerning war and politics: "I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave/I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave" Evocative and shiver-inducing, this one is.
An unsung classic, is "Orgasmatron", and you need it, plain and simple.