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Rock ’n’ roll is a religion, and monster of rock Lemmy
screams as much on his band Motörhead’s last disc, THE WÖRLD IS YOURS. The CD
was released in February and it took us a while to catch up to it, but it was
certainly worth the wait: WORLD is a high-octane blast of evil hard, hard rock,
stained with punk and blues, from a group that has made living just as hard as
their music a virtual manifesto.
Now, you might wonder why a Motörhead review is flitting about
a horror-film/entertainment website, but anyone who even casually knows the
group is aware that what both the veteran frontman and his band stand for are
part and parcel of the grisly junk culture we all love. They made black
T-shirts cool, their music is like a drill to the senses (and has played in a
multitude of genre films) and hell, Lemmy himself has popped up in his share of
pictures, including Richard Stanley’s classic sleaze sci-fier HARDWARE.
So, now that we’ve taken measures to justify Motörhead to
the non-believer, let’s proceed with this review. This is—astonishingly—the
band’s 20th album, and though the lineup has changed, it remains true to
founder Lemmy’s original vision: that is, to sculpt blistering rock music
steeped in classic British and American pop, but electrified with the drugs and
excess of the late ’60s and early ’70s. If you know the man’s persona—one that
is not forced, but authentic—you know that Lemmy is someone who loves what he
does, and who—as he states in the recent documentary feature LEMMY—still rocks
and will continue to rock “because, well, I’m not qualified to do anything
else.” And although his trademark shrieking wail can come off as threatening or
abrasive on the surface, underneath it’s got soul, something sorely lacking in
his younger contemporaries.
The double disc (the second is a pretty nifty concert DVD)
opens with the thundering “Born to Lose,” and over the span of the following
nine tracks, it never lets up. Lemmy reaches the peak of coolness, however, with
the towering and rather witty “Devils in My Head,” in which he hisses weirdly
witty absurdities like “I know where the lightning strikes! I know why the
vampire bites! I know the minds of rats! And the wrong side of the tracks!”
There really is a kind of rough poetry blasting within Lemmy’s rasp and his
trademark violent bass-bashing, and it’s echoed in the comfortable shredding of
guitarist Phillip Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee. This is tight, taut,
flab-free, dark and yet never, ever joyless music for monsters, made possible
by a man who makes Keith Richards’ death-defying endurance look like the
Singing Nun. But while Richards leans toward sloppy these days, Lemmy never
misses a string.
A world without Motörhead? Well, this critic for one ain’t
interested in living in it.
Go to www.imotorhead.com for, well, more Motörhead.
Oh, hell—let’s say it one more time: Motörhead!
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