So what is there to say about Motorhead's 20th studio album in their 35th year as a band? Actually there is quite a lot and most of it is incredibly positive as this is clearly a band that still has a lot going for it, even if most people have already made their mind up about them.
First of all there is the truly awesome limited edition pack that it came in. Many other bands will give you a poster and a pin badge but this also came with a 132 page magazine filled with interviews, history on the band, and loads of details on the making of the record. Coming in at £15 (just a fiver more than the RRP for most new releases) it's not just a great thing for the fan but also a brilliant way to beat the file-sharing revenue loses by having a couple of (incredibly well targeted) adverts in the mag to help cover costs. It also means that the album is in the magazine racks, so it can go places other albums won't end up and not have to fight for shelf-space among the plethora of other releases. Not sure how many other bands would be able to pull something like this off but I can see it being used more and more.
So after you've gawked at the photos and read all the interviews it's time for the music itself. And what grand music it is, filled with a rock & roll swagger that shows that fast & heavy can be highly listen-able and not end up being angry or shouty. This album is very clearly a throwback to the 50's, with the odd jive and twist style riff showing up from place to place, and shows what could have happened if Chuck Berry had turned up after Black Sabbath. But it still has a very modern feel to it, with punchy lyrics and some moments that show how Motorhead had deep impacts on the NWOBHM, Thrash, and the more modern strains of heavy metal genres.
Stand out tracks have to be "Get Back In Line" (a classic Motorhead swaggering tune, with a sing-along inclusive chrous, that will work just as well in the middle of a concert or when drinking at the bar. It includes a key change that feels like going from 3rd to 5th gear on a drag-racer and Moar Cowbell for the simple fact it can be there), "Brotherhood of Man (a slow chugging brutish song that sounds like a more developed and mature 'Orgasmatron' with some highly inspired lyrics) and then "Bye bye bitch bye bye" (that ends the album by knocking it up a notch with some no-holds barred boogy). However this is the cream of the cream as there really are no bad tracks in this collection. Incredibly they all sounds absolutely like Motorhead without all sounding the same or being repeats of previous songs, which is something few bands can do after so many previous works of beauty.
It's basically a 40 minute masterclass in how to rock out in simplistic style and energetic glory, and whilst a lot of the public will either listen to it or not based on their preconceived notions of the band I can see a lot of musicians grabbing a copy so that they can work out how to up their own game.