There are only three things certain in life: death, taxes and Motörhead.
Lemmy, Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell are back with their latest slice of Motor-goodness, “The World Is Yours.” If you’ve ever heard a Motorhead album before, you already know the sound. Lots of down and dirty rock, with Lemmy’s sludgy distorted bass and growling vocals off-setting Mikkey Dee’s high-energy drumming style and Campbell’s rollicking guitar riffs. “Get Back In Line,” the album’s first single, is a perfect example of Motorhead. It’s as catchy as it is heavy.
“Rock N Roll Music” pays tribute to Lemmy’s all-encompassing love of rock and roll with a bouncy rhythm, seemingly ripped from his ’50s garage rock influences, while the man gives a line that could pretty much be written on his tombstone when (if?) he dies – “Rock and roll music is the true religion … Do it ’til the day I die.” “Waiting on the Snake” rips the old “Summertime Blues” guitar lick that the Sex Pistols ripped so well in the late ’70s. “Brotherhood of Man” is reminiscent of the simplistic, yet menacing, guitar pattern the band used so effectively on “Orgasmatron.”
“Outlaw” may as well be Lemmy’s manifesto, as he lyrically plays with his image as a rock-and-roll bandito. One of the album’s best tracks, the band shifts tempos throughout, building around a catchy chorus with Mikkey Dee’s double bass work and a wall of guitar and bass noise. “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye” is the perfect album closer — the sort of affectionate yet profane kiss-off that could only come from Motorhead.
Of course, the beauty of Motorhead is they never changed for 35 years. Lemmy and Co. are as reliable as the tax man. Unlike other bands that wanted to “explore” themselves as artists, Motorhead found a formula that works and they’ve stuck to it. Motorhead bridged the gap between punk and metal, finding a sound that no one else has ever been able to emulate. You’ve never had to worry about them slipping some sappy love song or some electronic keyboard shit in there.
The trick to why Motorhead stayed around so long is they’ve always managed to find a way to keep the formula interesting. Some Motorhead albums are better than others, of course, hence why “Overkill,” “Orgasmatron” and “Ace of Spades” are remembered more fondly than “Overnight Sensation,” “Another Perfect Day” or “Snake Bite Love.” But the band’s recent work is the most consistent stretch of Motorhead’s career. Starting with 2004’s “Inferno” and including “Kiss of Death,” “Motorizer” and now, “The World Is Yours,” Motorhead put out some of its best work even as the band members approach Social Security age. Perhaps it’s because this incarnation of Motorhead has been around longer – 15 years – than any other lineup in the band’s career.
At the center of that, of course, is Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, the only consistent member throughout the band’s history. Despite pushing 65, the man is practically indestructible, still recording, still touring, still leading his outlaw existence. He could survive a nuclear holocaust and will outlive Keith Richards – no easy feat. It’s good to know that in a world that seems to change by the minute, we’ll always have Lemmy around. — Ryan Mavity
Rating: 3 stars out of 4
Motörhead are currently on the road on a U.S. tour that will wrap up in Los Angeles at Club Nokia on March 11th. After that the band will take on Australia and South America in April/May before returning to Europe for a summer tour. For a complete list of dates visit www.imotorhead.com.
Since there can never be enough Motörhead, the tour will coincide with the US premiere of LEMMY, the critically acclaimed documentary about Motörhead’s iconic founder which has already been tearing up the worldwide film festival circuit.
To stay current with all things Motörhead visit: www.imotorhead.com