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Rock 'n' Roll in Fifth Gear - 80%

DawnoftheShred, February 27th, 2007

You don't have to be ground-breaking, sophisticated, or even sober to record a classic heavy metal album. All you need to do is rock really fucking hard and have the balls to back it up. Such is the case with Motorhead, one of the grimiest, energetic, most badass bands to ever kick some ass and play some tunes. Ace of Spades isn't necessarily the best thing they've ever cranked out, but it's certainly their most well known and easily one of their most memorable.

This is not an album you'll have to relisten to several times to catch all the subtleties. This is as straightforward and accessible as they come. Whether Motorhead is ripping through some intense speed metal ("Ace of Spades," "The Hammer") or laying down a dose of laid-back, bluesy rock and roll ("Fast and Loose," "The Chase is Better Than the Catch"), Lemmy and the boys keep it heavy and they keep it catchy. Great riffing, tight rhythm section, lots of lead, and lyrics you can't help but sing-along to. The ever rough and gruff Lemmy Kilmister delivers some great lines on this one, hitting up all the band's usually subject matter. Songs about drinking, songs about gambling, songs about fornication, songs about writing songs about said topics, it's all here, delivered with a great sense of songwriting and tons of attitude. Motorhead fans pretty much need to own this one.

If there's one thing that holds this release back, it's that it suffers from the same problem as most of Motorhead's discography, that being repetitiveness. About half-way into this album, you'll start to wonder if you're hearing the same riffs, leads, and vocal melodies from earlier songs. This isn't exactly the case, but there isn't a lot of variety on here (an effect that's furthered by the inclusion of the bonus tracks). Ace of Spades is just straightforward, ballbusting heavy metal. The repetitive nature of their albums does hinder some of their later releases, but here it's still quite fresh and easy to listen to whether you're new to the band or if you own all their albums. Recommended if you want to have a good time.