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HMS Music Spotlight

Motorhead are pushing 40 and as we head into their 4th decade, there seems to be nothing stopping this iconic band from decimating the eardrums of the masses. So in honor of this anniversary celebration, Lemmy and the boys are set to release their 22nd album – appropriately entitled Bad Magic and have announced a 40th anniversary European tour to boot; now how’s that for a band of old farts?

Well despite the onslaught of age, Lemmy Kilmister never misses a beat. What strikes me upon a first listen is how catchy the songs are; especially the opening number “Victory or Die” declaring war on those said eardrums right away. The lyrics feel standard for this numbers, but there is no mistaking that bombastic vibe and go-for-the-throat attitude. In fact the next few tracks hit that magical stride, proving Motorhead’s blend of thunderous sound and defiant lyrics will forever mark them as heavy metal warriors.

A song like “Electricity” proves that Phil Campbell can still pull off some vital leads and “Evil Eye” showcases Lemmy’s sinisterly, yet impassioned vocals. With Mikkey Dee pounding away on the skins, this three-piece pull out all the stops on “Teach them How to Bleed”. There’s really not a bad track to be found here; even the slow number “Till the End” provides the listener with enough moxie to keep you wanting more.

The album also provides a certifiable metallic edge in tracks like “Tell me Who to Kill” and “Chocking on Your Screams”, including lyrics that display Lemmy’s penchant for bloodlust. You have that good mix of emotions; some pleasant and others downright nasty. Of course the next track “When the Sky Comes Looking for You” adds a short bluesy tone into this batch of songs, so I can definitely appreciate the variety here. It can’t always be about killing and beating people up all the time.

Bad Magic
(UDR GambH)
Written by: Kenneth Gallant
8 out of 10

The final track is a bit of head scratcher for me. The band elected to cover one of the most overrated Stones’ songs of all time in my humble estimation. Now don’t get me wrong about “Sympathy for the Devil”, I like the song, but why do metal bands continually cover this number? I can’t quite figure out the appeal here, but I feel they may have been better served by attempting “Paint it Black” or dare say “Jumpin Jack Flash” for my tastes. Regardless of your opinion over the song selection, I give the band credit for adding their imprint on this classic tune.

In some ways I find it hard to believe how unwavering Lemmy’s motivations and passions are for playing balls-to-the-walls music. Forty years is a long time to be writing raucous songs that go full-tilt and never miss a beat, but that is the charming appeal to Lemmy Kilmister and his bandmates. I think it’s a testament to the bands longevity, what with the upcoming European tour and also the tour with Anthrax currently going down even as we speak. These boys know how to party and Motorhead are the best in the business doing what they do best, so don’t miss out the 22nd album and surely catch them on tour to help celebrate forty glorious of years of Motorhead. May there be many years to come!

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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