CD Review of Motörizer by Motörhead
Recommended if you like
Slayer, Anthrax, Iron Maiden
Label
Steamhammer/SPV
Motörhead: Motörizer

Reviewed by James B. Eldred

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A
t this point in their career, is there any real reason to review a new Motörhead release? Motörizer is the band’s 24th album, and it sounds – big surprise – like the 23 that preceded it. If you like Motörhead, this is reason enough to buy it; if you don’t, you’re probably not even reading this review.

But being predictable and set in your ways isn’t always a bad thing. Motörhead is a band that knows what its fans want, and has been consistently giving it to them with little complaint since the late ‘70s. The only original member of the group is Lemmy, and at 62 he’s getting a little long in the (Snaggle)tooth. But Lemmy isn’t slowing down with age; if anything, he’s speeding up. The past few Motörhead albums – Kiss of Death, Inferno and Hammered – have been some of the band’s hardest (and best) in recent memory, and Motörizer continues that surprising trend.

While there are a few “slow” songs on Motörizer (slow is a relative term when talking about Motörhead), most of the album finds Lemmy and his aging bandmates thrashing just as hard as the original lineup did way back when. “Time Is Right,” “Runaround Man” and “Buried Alive” can all stand side-by-side with “Overkill,” “Killed By Death,” and “Ace of Spades” in terms of speed and energy.

Other tracks, such as “Heroes,” show that the band can mix it up in both style and theme. The thrash level is wisely taken down a notch for this anti-war/government track, which allows the biting lyrics about the blind loyalty of soldiers being led to their death to sink in (“Stand your ground and fight / You know the cause is right”). Lemmy’s interest in current events also shows up on other tracks, including “When the Eagle Screams” and the vicious “The Thousand Names of God,” which is a scathing attack on Bush and America for not challenging him (“Nobody ever wants to hear the truth / Too much like taking blame”).

But if you don’t want politics in your metal, you don’t have to worry too much, since most of Motörizer is filled with songs about what hardcore metalheads know best: rocking, fighting, and getting laid. “Rock Out” (and yes, it took over 30 years for Motörhead to write a song called “Rock Out”) is about nothing more than how cool it is to “rock out with your cock out,” and “English Rose” is an ode to nasty groupie sex. “Runaround Man” and “Teach You How to Sing the Blues” are nearly nonsensical rambles about kicking ass and taking names and are mostly excuses for Lemmy, drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Philip Campbell to play as loud and as fast as they can.

And they, along with that ugly bearded bastard Lemmy, can still rock louder, faster and harder than nearly any band out there. Motörizer is a standout record for a band that already had a ton of them. Here’s hoping Lemmy lives forever.

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