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Motorhead - Bad Magic (Album Review)

Thursday, 27 August 2015 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Your government has bent you over a barrel, your employment prospects have dwindled and a Freddo bar now costs more than your mortgage. In a world polluted by uncertainty and doubt, it's reassuring to hear Motörhead's 22nd LP, 'Bad Magic'. It sounds exactly how you'd want a Motörhead album to sound in 2015.

Essentially, what we have here is a whistle-stop tour of the band's 40 year reign. Fire Storm Hotel sleazily slides through the speakers in the same vein as Stay Clean, including a stock Lemmy ‘burn’ shout prior to the reliably brilliant Phil Campbell dropping into a guitar solo.

Victory Or Die is vintage Motörhead, its opening proclamation harking back to the triumphant lyrical gusto of On Your Feet Or On Your Knees. Thunder & Lightning's twisted riff is a cousin - once or twice removed, perhaps - of Rock Out and Ace Of Spades, while Teach Them How To Bleed begs the question: who on earth, this far into their career, can actually rock this fucking hard?

Of the three Motörhead songs ever written (the fast one, the slow one and the one in the middle), all get a good seeing to on 'Bad Magic'. The Devil boasts a mid-paced chorus and a guest solo from Brian May, while Shoot Out Your Lights has Mikkey Dee thumping away at the drums in a style reminiscent of 'Inferno' opener Terminal Show.

Till The End serves as the obligatory ballad, but fares much better than Lost Woman Blues from 2013's 'Aftershock'. Cleanly plucked strings sit alongside Campbell's electric licks, Lemmy's gentle croon is less laughable than it was on 1916 and its defiant cry - “All I know is who I am, I'll never let you down.” - is the truest statement you'll ever hear. Lemmy is Lemmy. He wants to cover the Rolling Stones? He does. Sympathy for The Devil pops up as the closing track.

It's not metal. It's not punk. It's not blues. It's Motörhead. They've never succumbed to trends, nor have they sold their souls to any particular deity or demon. They've just churned out an unquestionable, bass-heavy racket for nearly half a century and we can't really ask for more.

Lemmy probably isn't human, and one day will shed his mortal shell and ascend to the halls of Valhalla aloft a fiery juggernaut of noise. We pray to our lord, our saviour, our Lemmy: let there be Motörhead.

Motorhead Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat January 23 2016 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Newcastle City Hall
Sun January 24 2016 - GLASGOW Clyde Auditorium
Tue January 26 2016 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Wed January 27 2016 - SWINDON Oasis Leisure Centre Swindon
Fri January 29 2016 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Sat January 30 2016 - LONDON Eventim Apollo

Click here to compare & buy Motorhead Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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