MOTORHEAD – BAD MAGIC
Release Date: 28th August 2015
℗ 2015 UDR GmbH
- Victory Or Die
- Thunder & Lightning
- Fire Storm Hotel
- Shoot Out All of Your Lights
- The Devil
- Evil Eye
- Teach Them How To Bleed
- Till The End
- Tell Me Who To Kill
- Choking On Your Screams
- When The Sky Coes Looking For You
- Sympathy For The Devil
The release of the keenly anticipated Bad Magic is proof of several stark realities, the first of which is that Motorhead still have it. What is it? The unique sound that is it sole property of Lemmy and co. No genre can claim ownership of the Motorhead sound because it is, and always has been entirely their own. Secondly, it is increasingly evident that Lemmy is, in fact, immortal. Nay, a deity walking among us blessing us routinely with majestic sound that will never, ever die. Lemmy just gets better with years passing and more creative with each recording.
Opener Victory Or Die provides us with an immediately belting blast of Lemmy lyrical brilliance and a sensational reminder of exactly who we are dealing with. That familiar voice pushing out lines as powerfully as ever before. As I listen to the lyrics and ponder Lemmy’s fascination with WWII, I can’t help but picture bloodied, freezing and physically spent members of the Wehrmacht singing in sarcastic unison during the battles of Stalingrad. From a musical perspective we are provided with unprecedented lead guitar solos bringing this medium to the fore of Motorhead’s majestic sound more than ever before. For the first time Lemmy’s bass work becomes marginally more tradition and the lead really does take front and centre position. Somehow this alteration seems to enhance the vocal contribution and complement Lemmy.
Each Motorhead album contains at least one stand out classic track that is signature. For this release it is definitively Thunder and Lightning. This track is sure to be a fan favourite with every unique element that makes up the classic Motorhead superior sound. After a whopping and historically significant twenty two studio albums, it is true astounding that Motorhead remain perfectly capable of producing instant classics of such brilliant signature quality.
Fire Storm Hotel is every bit as brilliant but with a significantly more ‘classic rock’ sound, before Shoot out All Of Your Lights ramps up the pace and the attitude in preparation for the remaining tracks. This is also about the time that you realise what a magnificent contribution drummer Mikkey Dee provides on each blistering track.
The Devil and Electricity are both magnificent works that truly reflect the superb, and now timeless sound that is Motorhead. Lyrically and musically these tracks will surely bring about fan revival for any who have strayed from the fold, but more importantly, be instrumental in attracting a whole new generation of Motorhead followers. Very powerful stuff.
Skipping ahead with melodic glee we pause at Tell Me Who to Kill for a refreshing reminder of earlier works like Overkill, Iron Fist and Bomber with its fittingly repetitive guitar work, accompanied by fresh malicious lyrics carried as only Lemmy can, just before Choking On Your Screams takes us a little further into fist thrusting and horn wilding malevolent moshing. Both tracks have the qualities that make this ‘brand’ of Motorhead sound so memorable, and yet they are so very different.
When The Sky Comes Looking For You is a brilliant finale to the new work from Motorhead with those utterly remarkable notes reached by Lemmy providing the raw edge that is their sound, right before the album finale.
I have a list of tracks longer than my memories of Motorhead moments that I would love to hear Lemmy perform and Sympathy For The Devil is very close to the top of that list, so what a treat for me I guess. This is a shining example of how Motorhead owns their signature sound and can provide that unique mastery to pretty much anything. I have no doubt the Rolling Stones are feeling most blessed indeed.
Bad Magic is a thrilling, prodigious work of sheer excellence. Purists will be pleased and new breeds of devotees will be born of this work.