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Reviewing a Motorhead album is challenging. Why? You try doing it without a) stating that it sounds like Motorhead, b) mentioning how Lemmy and the lads haven't seemed to have aged or c) or some reference to Lemmy's infamous life of excess in all departments. So, to save myself the heartache, I've decided to include all those things at the beginning, so here goes. This is a Motorhead album, I guarentee it will sound like Motorhead. Lemmy, MIkkey and Phil don't sound as if they have aged and Lemmy will drink you under the table. There. Now I can tell what album sounds like (if you haven't figured it out already).
Mikkey Dee has always been an awesome drummer, from King Diamond to Dokken to his (not so recent anymore) association with Lemmy. He is capable of providing the unbreakable spine to Motorhead without ever getting boring, adding tasteful fills everyone now and then for flavour. His unrelenting energy is breathtaking to listen to, which combined with the strength of the production gives the drums an unmatched power (just listen to 'Outlaw'). For sure, this is 4/4 rock n roll drumming but it never gets boring, especially not as boring as the drumming on Reload. And they sound better.
Guitar-wise, I have come to the conclusion that Phil Campbell will never run out of riffs. The monster riff on 'Brotherhood of Man' has been compared by everyone to capturing the essence of Orgasmatron, while 'Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye' is one of the best riffs on the album, rightfully earning the song the title of album closer. The guitar is thick and crunchy, which is great for the heavier and faster songs, but also give the old-school style 'Rock n Roll Music' a light touch, which interwines well with the bluesy licks that are prevalent throughout the song. When it comes to soloing, Phil Campbell is the man for the job. His style ranges from pure blues-rock with wah-wah tinges, to fast, frantic picking as evidenced on 'Outlaw' which is my favourite solo on the album. Top-notch work to be found here.
You can always feel Lemmy's bass. It is not always distinct from the rest of the music, but your bones will thank you profusely when it is not rumbling away. For the most part, bass follows the guitar line, but will occasionaly break away to strike out on its own, such as the bass solo on 'Brotherhood of Man', which duels with Phil's guitar for a little bit, which was cool to hear, but more is requested from this humble listener.
Vocally, Lemmy sounds the same as he did on Motorizer, Kiss of Death, Inferno... I could go on, but by now, you should have listened to all of Motorhead's discography and realised that while other singer's voices may have detoriated (provide your own examples here), Lemmy's hasn't. He adopts a lighter touch on 'Rock n Roll Music,' paying homage to the music that defined his life, which he has said many times, whilst heavier and more energetic tracks receive Lemmy's trademark gruff shout which no one else should ever attempt to imitate. My throat testifies to this.
I have a special spot for Motorhead lyrics, from the bacon torpedo to the bed that is a mess of rattlesnakes, and this album doesn't fail to deliver more of the same. The whole album is awash with great examples, but I'd have to say that 'All things come to he who waits, but these days most things most things suck,' reveal Lemmy's acidic disdain for modern culture in the best way possible.
Overall, this is a solid album from one the world's most consistent bands. Cameron Webb has set a Motorhead record by sticking with the band for albums straight, which is major factor in the consistency department, although it does make the album sound a little less unique. I am sad that this album like the album before it doesn't feature a famed Motorballad, because they are always awesome. I suppose I could wait for one to appear on the next album, but there is a chance that it might suck.