Motorhead - 2008 Motorizer

ARTIST: Motorhead
ALBUM: Motorizer
YEAR: 2008

LINEUP: Lemmy - vocals, bass * Phil Campbell - guitars * Mickey Dee - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Runaround Man * 02 Teach You How To Sing The Blues * 03 When The Eagle Screams * 04 Rock Out * 05 One Short Life * 06 Buried Alive * 07 English Rose * 08 Back On The Chain * 09 Heroes * 10 Time Is Right * 11 The Thousand Names Of God

RATING: image


2006's 'Kiss of Death' wasn't Motorhead's greatest hour and for the first time I actually wondered if there was any point to a new album, unless it sounded like 'Another Perfect Day' or even 'Sacrifice'.

Nevertheless this incarnation of Motorhead returns for their seventh album as a trio, further cementing their status as the longest running version of Lemmy's legends. Lemmy himself, now in his 63rd year is in fine voice but sadly this is not a return to form for the band.

It might not really matter anymore, but Motorhead have always been one of the sure things in the metal world over the last ten or more years, consistently putting out new albums. Right now though I'm wondering if we will see another classic one.

The Songs

'Runaround Man' does indeed embrace the grimy and ultra heavy sound of 1995's 'Sacrifice', almost a dead ringer for 'Dog Faced Boy'. This is the band at their best, with their rawest sound in years. Sadly it is not built upon and sounds unlike anything following it, almost an out-take from 95.

'Teach You How to Sing the Blues' is more restrained by Motorhead standards and quite unremarkable melodically. 'When the Eagle Screams' adds some gallop with Campbell's guitar solo the high point of the excursion into true heavy metal.

'Rock Out' simply goes for broke in the 'Ironfist' tradition, Lemmy pummelling his bass in unmistakable fashion. This is the Motorhead most want to hear, but it still fails to satisfy. Unfortunately 'One Short Life' slows things down, again in rather unconvincing melodic style. Nothing going on here.

Speeding things up again is 'Buried Alive', which is heavy on the surface, but something about those melody lines leaves me cold. Rather dour, there's no sting there like you would usually expect. Maybe I've heard this type of song so many times from Motorhead it's finally worn me down. I thought I'd never say that.

Adding to the levels of blandness is 'English Rose', half baked rock and roll with no real claims to being remotely memorable in any category. Add 'Back On The Chain' to that list also. 'Heroes' is another plodder, and this is one of the most tired albums of the bands career by this point.

'Time is Right' attempts some speed, but it's too late by now. The anti-war hymn 'The Thousand Names of God' is nothing special, with more retreaded melodies. Somewhere along the way Motorhead forgot how to devastate their listeners.

In Summary

In 1992 when 'March Or Die' was released a reviewer in Metal Hammer trashed the album, saying 'does the world really need another Motorhead album?' I'm sure I was suitably outraged when I read that for the first time, but I can almost identify with the thought in 2008.

This lineup has been one of the bands best, but this is perhaps their most stale album to date, with only 'Runaround Man' and 'Rock Out' really worth more than three listens. Somehow the ferocity is gone, that lethal aspect that always set Motorhead apart from every band.

This is the sound of a band that has truly run out of ideas. It doesn't give me any pleasure to write these words, but having heard every album put out by this band I think I can safely make that assumption. If you elect to pass this album by do not worry, you haven't missed anything.

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