Celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year, Motörhead has returned with their 22nd studio album, “Bad Magic”. The release of this album is no small accomplishment considering frontman/bassist Lemmy Kilmister’s string of health issues since 2013. Never one to wallow in self-pity, the almighty Lemmy Kilmister forges ahead with his Motörhead-mates, Phil Campbell on guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums along with Producer Cameron Webb to bring listeners their trademark brand of Rock N’ Roll.
Lemmy kicks the album off by proclaiming “Victory Or Death” before the band begins pummeling your senses at a breakneck pace on “Victory Or Die”. “What do you want from your miserable life? What do you see in a future so bright? Get what you want, do what you can. You’ll get no pussy if you’re in a band!” proclaims in “Thunder & Lightning”. Phil lays down a blazing solo atop Mikkey’s frenetic double bass. The band lets off the gas just a little on “Fire Storm Hotel” while the layers of Lemmy’s vocals add a cool texture to the song. Love the attitude dripping from Lemmy’s command to Phil to “Burn” before he tears into his all-to-brief solo.
Ever wonder what a blitzkrieg was like? Mikkey Dee’s drumming at the beginning of “Shoot Out all of Your Lights” is as close as it gets to a blitzkrieg although he rarely lets up through the song. The chorus features a cool call and response that should go over well in a live setting. “The Devil” is a nasty groove laden tune that has Queen’s Brian May lending his six string talents to the solo. Phil channels James Hetfield heavy handed riffage throughout. If I was forced to pick my favorite track off the album, “The Devil” would be it. “Electricity” was the first taste anyone got from the album as it was the first single and video released prior to the album. “Evil Eye” has a tribal feel to the drums and a chill inducing spoken chorus. It ranks up there with “The Devil” as a favorite…..anyone sensing a theme?
“Teach Them How To Bleed” is another in a long line of relentless Motörhead skull crushers. Ahhh, Lemmy shows his mellower side on “Till The End”. I really digg when Lemmy & Co. include songs in the vein of “God Was Never On Your Side”, “One More Fucking Time” and “I Ain’t No Nice Guy” on their albums. I think it’d be cool if they did an entire album of mellower songs. His voice is perfect it. “Tell Me Who To Kill” has some cool riffs and a galloping tempo. With such a title, the lyrics didn’t live up to my expectations but are still better than anything I could ever write. Plus, Lemmy wrote them so he gets an automatic pass because he is Lemmy FUCKING Kilmister and we are not!
Lemmy’s demented snarl is all over “Choking On Your Screams” while he redeems himself lyrically here. I don’t think Lemmy gets enough praise a lyricist. 99.9% of the time, no matter the topic be it politics, war, society or women, he is nothing short of poetic. The band is back in a groove with “When The Sky Comes Looking For You”. Motörhead puts their spin on The Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy For The Devil” while remaining faithful to the original. Anyone who is familiar with Lemmy’s lyrics should be able to believe that “Sympathy For The Devil” could have been written by Lemmy if we didn’t know any better so this song is a perfect fit for the almighty Motörhead.
In conclusion, Motörhead has delivered another quality album. The band had some hit and misses in the 90’s but have yet to release any duds in the 2000’s! Lemmy sounds as vital as ever both vocally and playing wise while Phil & Mikkey are as solid as ever. I just hope this is not the last studio album from Motörhead……
Motörhead – Bad Magic
August 28, 2015 via UDR Music
1. Victory Or Die
2. Thunder & Lightning
3. Fire Storm Hotel
4. Shoot Out all of Your Lights
5. The Devil*
7. Evil Eye
8. Teach Them How To Bleed
9. Till The End
10. Tell Me Who To Kill
11. Choking On Your Screams
12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You
13. Sympathy For The Devil
Lemmy Kilmister – Bass & Vocals
Phil Campbell – Guitars
Mikkey Dee – Drums
*Brian May of Queen appears on “The Devil”
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Motörhead Presents – Bad Magic (Part 1)
MOTÖRHEAD – “Electricity” – Official Video