Few bands bring the fury in the same way as Motörhead, and fewer still have been doing it so consistently for so long. Along the way they had more than a helping hand creating speed metal but while that genre is focused on simply being fast, Motörhead is a much more rounded experience – it’s just loud, fast rock n roll music. I’m not actually into that much metal (although I like a lot from the broad description of ‘rock’), but I love Motörhead. Metalheads love Motörhead. Speed/thrash freaks love Motörhead. They’re one of those bands who are so good that the genre is pretty meaningless. Formed back in 1975 by Lemmy Kilmister, the band has survived with infrequent lineup changes for 38 years and 21 released albums (not counting compilations!)
Aftershock came out last month, and with this band you know exactly what’s going to be on the album – the only real question is will it be a good album or a great one? Aftershock is a great one, definitely beating 2010’s The World Is Yours which was pretty good itself, in fact it has all the energy of the band from the very height of their powers. If you’ve ever liked a Motörhead album you’re going to love this and it’ll be sitting alongside Bomber and Orgasmatron as one of my favourites.
It starts as it means to finish with the pounding Heartbreaker, and ends with the relentless Paralyzed, which is the musical equivalent of belting a track out and then just throwing your instruments down and walking off stage. Lemmy has had a few health issues of late and it sounds like it’s just encouraged him to look death in the eye and defiantly say ‘fuck you, when I’m good and ready’. There are no compromises, no weak links, and perfect execution from a trio who know exactly what they’re doing and why they turned the volume dial to 11.
The album isn’t just a constant barrage though, along the way there are a couple of tracks to give you some much needed breathing space – Dust and Glass is a nice hazy relaxing piece (Lemmy was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix back in the day and you can still hear the influence from time to time). Crying Shame is a traditional mid-tempo rock n roll track, but the real treat breaking up the album is Lost Woman Blues.
Do you like loud guitars and drums? Ok good – try Aftershock out. I buy a mixture of digital and physical music – depends on how much I like the band, this one I went into the city and bought from an actual record shop, one with a rock/metal A-Z section and a chaotic mess of promotional junk on the walls, like they used to be. It couldn’t have been any other way.