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Heavily underrated - 100%

Ausgebombt, September 21st, 2004

What we have here is the 6th offering from Motörhead. Following the extreme success of two milestones of the Motörsound (Overkill, Bomber) we are kicked in the face with Ace Of Spades, full of adrenaline album that delivers the goods exactly to what the fans wanted after the previous bombs.
Really we'll have to say that ALL motörmusic is the same, if we are going to prejudge the album by further stablishing and popularizing too (since it's THE best selling Motörhead album) then we are missing exactly what this album is.

This album sank the knife deeper into our souls of what Motörhead is supposed to be and to sound like.
This is why I say the album is heavily underated, the songs in here are ripping drunkfests for Motörbangers. Every single one. Maybe you'll find a filler or two, I give you that for Fire, Fire and Dance. But what band has not done that?

I'll have to disect this album into a song-by-song description so I can proove my point that you can't mistake Ace Of Spades with Fast And Loose or The Chase is Better Than The Catch...

Ace Of Spades - This is the wild as fuck intro to a great album, particulary, the title track. We are given an bass line by Lemmy "God" Kilmister that lasts aproximately 6 seconds before Fast Eddie kicks us in our nuts with the unmistakable riff, flowing nicely from drunk bass lines to wild riffs, this song doesn't let us breath for a second. Of course who can forget the wild, out of this world solo? This is a straight forward, no wankery solo to keep the pace of the song. And it sure works.

Love Me Like A Reptile - Keeping the line with the "don't let us breathe please" Motörhead philosophy, we are quickly introduced to Love Me Like A Reptile. Another fast paced, straight forward song with funny lyrics. This song is more based on the guitars and haves more of a Rock (or old school Metal if you will) feeling to it, unlike the previous song which's riff was (to me) a bit influenced by a Bluesy feel , especialy in the last notes of the main riff.

Anyway, concerning the album in general, we can feel a variation of guitar distortions and the bass being mudder or cleaner in each song. In what respects to the present song (LMLaR), the bass works more in the back, though we have to acnlowledge that this is a band that normaly concentrates into writtiing music for the stand out of the Bass guitar.

Shoot You In The Back - The guitar riffing beggining to this song is what the bass line beggining is to Ace Of Spades. Fast Eddy Clark lays an impecable main riff line so the song can explode into what it will be the whole performance of the band. It also lasts about 6 seconds to do that.
Lemmy sings as always, I don't need to mention that.
The riffing combined with the choruses, unlike the previous songs, features a groovieness feel that makes it particulary catchy, with a clean guitar sound.

Live To Win - This song again makes it's way with a bass intro.. similar formula that utilized Ace Of Spades? Yes. The same? No... This song is kind of a mixture in between Ace Of Spades for the speed and the ominous presence of the bass, and Shoot You In The Back, for the clean guitars, which delivers a cleaner solo, equaly wild but less drunkier than AoS, and the catchy choruses. This song actualy gives us 2 solos to bang at, the second being my favourite since it's longer and gives me a feeling that it's more complete than the previous one, but not diminishing the other in any sense.

Fast And Loose - Live to Win fades to present us with the bluesy directed riff of Fast And Loose. This song, without ever moving away from the classic Motörhead sound, vibes as a Blues influentied song as a whole, not only the guitar. But it is easier to note this on the guitar than on the other instruments.
This song is as catchy as the previous, and the bass is again working behind the guitar. (If you don't remember that was featured in Love Me Like A Reptile but not in the other two).

(We Are) The Road Crew - This is a tribute song to the Motörhead Road Crew though the lyrics are not particulary invasive to the particular lives of the actual "Motörcrew" and can be taked as an anthem for any Road Crew in the world. Which is a good thing, since this is a fun song and can be played with indefinetely.
This song, musicaly, is very variated. We have a bigger presence of the bass which slowly drags itself into the back but never quite like in the second song and it haves a muddier sound. The guitar is also wilder and drunker and features a rock/punk crossover melody which gives this song the wilderness it should have.

Fire, Fire - It can be considered a filler song since it had not reach the popularity as ALL the 6 songs that precede it. But nonetheless this is a great song (quality over quantity). This song works with the bass hand to hand with the guitar, but the guitar is cleaner and the bass is dirtier and more in the front. We have a particular riff in here that sounds similar to Ace Of Spades, same? Nope, not at all. Anyway, as I was saying, the bass gains much more notoriety in the song because the guitar is not layed over it, but Lemmy gives the right place to Fast Eddie so he can deliver us the great, very clean soloing. I feel this equaly as a more fun song for the band.

Jailbait - This song follows pretty much the same formula than Fire, Fire and it's not ALL THAT memorable. But it sure haves the Motörhead landmark on it's front. The difference with this song and the previous is that the bass is less dirtier and less in the front of the mix.
I can't say much about this, the guitar riffing and "kerrangs" are those of classic Motörhead. Particulary, the solo for this song is the first presented in the album to lay the same note played 5 or 6 times and then continues down the notes to the rest of the soloing (much like Morbid Angel or Sodom) (the first one) the second one is more on the classic vein of Motörhead, though Fast Eddie Clark also plays the same note a couple of times in a row.

Dance - I don't need to say that this is another fast paced song from the UK Motörbangers. The main riff to this song is played faster than the previous, and we can also hear the bass in the front, though with a perfectly clean sound. So is the guitar, this song is much like Fire, Fire, in the sense that bass and guitars work almost hand to hand.. almost, because the bass is wilder here than the guitar. Not as it was featured before.
The solos are also perfectly delivered and the bass goes into it's right place so it doesn't disturbs the quality of the soloing.

Bite The Bullet - This is the shortest song in the album; again a song written by Lemmy that features funny lyrics. About the music of the song, the intro is delivered by the drums and the guitars (no bass) and then it kicks right into our face with the inclusion of the bass which completely dominates this song and it's alway in front of the mix. Punk influented by Lemmy's singing pace, this song doesn't give us a rest for it's shortness, and I repeat, the bass is right there in the front row slaming your head even during the duration of the solo.

The Chase Is Better Than The Catch - The previous song doesn't get to an end for it is interrupted (while slowing down, of course, no production error..) by the classic epic TCIBTTC. This is a very "Dance" song, because as this previous song, this one haves the sound that Motörhead would define forever in the next releases. The bass guitar variates it's domination of the song, but for the majority of it, you can clearly hear the bass right infront of the mix and the guitar in the back, more distorted than the bass, to give it a more present feeling so the bass doesn't get to opaque the rest of the musicians' performance.
The solo is quite mudded and still the bass guitar is present during it.
This song is a classic epique which I prefer live because of it's rawness and it's obvious existance ment to be played in front of an audience, as the majority of Motörhead songs.

The Hammer - What a way to close a fast paced rock/metal album than this song. This song is quite unique, because of it's uber fast pace. This one is one of the fastest songs in this album. The riffing is unstopable and the guitar is mixed at the same level than the bass guitar, being the first again muddier and more distorted than the last. So you can hear both present in almost a fight to be the loudest on the mix. Drums aren't left behind in the whole album, always getting the pace of the two main instruments and delivering it's quote of excitement and precious speed to each song. This doesn't fails us in The Hammer, the drums are wild, exciting and keeps in pace with the wilderness of the whole song.

Well, there you have it; I think I have proved myself stating that this album features quite a variation of songs and styles, but close attention must be payed, and of course, truthful enjoyment.