Sunday, 6 September 2015

Bad Magic - Motörhead

If a 69 year old man with a walking stick walked up to you in the street and yelled "Victory or Die" in your face you would. most likely, be worried. When Lemmy does it at the start of Motörhead's twenty-third album it just sends a shiver down your spine and locks you in for fourty-two minutes of high-speed rock and roll. That the album entered the charts at Number 10 in the UK (and similar high ranking elsewhere) is a testament to both the recognition that the band have achieved for being one of the true underground legends of rock and roll. and of the raw quality of the album itself.

Of the songs there is not much more that can be said than "the worlds finest speed-freak rock-and-roll", which is like saying "Mozart just did good classical music" or "Jimi Hendrix could play a tune". It's four-bar blues through Marshall amps, songs about love and sex and death and everything in between, and you're supposed to feel it rather than intellectualise or 'understand' it. Fundamentally if this video doesn't put a smile on your face and make you go "that's me when no-one is looking, that is!" then don't bother (and, possibly, radically reassess your ability to enjoy life).

On top of that the stand out tracks for me were Fire Storm Hotel, which was AC/DC with the engine in the red, Electricity, which sounded had their 80's era proto-thrash grind, and Teach Them to Bleed that has so much boogie to it you could see Elvis giving it a shot. There was also Till The End, the slowest of the collection and also the one most likely to bring a tear to your eye because it seems to be the lyrical explanation of Lemmy's stubborn refusal to take a break and not die on stage. The finishing cover of Sympathy For The Devil is also rather good, and shows off the raw musical talents of the whole band. Who knows, maybe Keith Richards will show up at one of their shows and join in on it; after all Brian May joined them for Overkill and does guitars on The Devil for this album so anything is possible.

Whilst it's pointless to argue if it's their finest album (tradition says it always either "the first one I heard" or "Ace of Spades") it's mighty addition to their catalogue and, given Lemmy's recent health problems, if it's the last one they play live it will be a fitting final blast.
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