Thursday, October 24, 2013

Motorhead-Aftershock; UDR, 2013, digital download

Disaster Amnesiac figures that if there is one band among the polyglot soundscape of Rock that unites everyone, it's just got to be Motorhead. I'd imagine that the first mook in any Rock crowd, from any of its various offshoots, to diss Lemmy and his pals, would get the business pretty quickly, and this is how it should be. The guy found the absolute perfect formula, refined it a bit, and has subsequently stuck with it for decades, inspiring and influencing pretty much everyone, all the while maintaining a genuinely cool and honest persona. Just as it's impossible to listen to Motorhead and not rock, Disaster Amnesiac figures it would be impossible not feel the presence of Greatness from Mr. Kilmister. Dude's just like that, and ever shall be.
I'm sure that every Motorhead fan will be pleased with the band's new offering, Aftershock, especially in light of Lemmy's recent health problems. If he's sick, it sure as shootin' doesn't show on this LP. It starts off with two great tunes cut from the classic Motorhead template, Heartbreaker and Coup de Grace. This template being heavy, amped up Rock-n-Roll riffs from Kilmister on treble-ey fuzz bass and Phil Campbell on wild leads (the man's been in Motorhead roughly five times longer than Fast Eddie!), while new guy (21 years) Micky Dee pushes them along with his stompin' double bass drum/open high hat thrashing.
Following these signature calling cards, the listener is treated to all manner of variations, from the Trower blue feel of Lost Woman Blues and Dust and Glass to the confrontational swagger of Silence When You Speak To Me and the piano boogie dance sleazy of Crying Shame, Motorhead put their stamp on all kinds of feels, and rock every damn one of them. Disaster Amnesiac hears Alice Cooper (the band) during the shuffled coda of Lost Woman, a Stoicism worthy of Marcus Aurelius in Silence's lyrics (Lemmy has always had a blunt honesty in his lyrical output). I hear Lemmy redeem a silly 1980's Scorpions lyric in Do You Believe (listen closely). Rare would be the person who makes "hell on roller skates" sound so kick-ass, but, Kilmister does just that, also on Believe. Sun Ra's Space is the Place seems to be quoted in End of Time's riff, and Motorhead pretty much quote themselves on Going to Mexico, but the band just has that kind of gravitas. They can pretty much do no wrong, owing to the refinement of their approach. Motorhead's music has an essential quality that allows them to put their indelible stamp on just about any approach that they care to try. Following up on all of these audible treats, Aftershock winds down with two more Motor-stomps, Keep Your Powder Dry and Paralyzed; I challenge any listener to not spool right back to the beginning and groove with the whole rockin' enchilada again and again. The album is just that great.
Things change, the center cannot hold, but through it all, year after year, Motorhead remain, Sphinx-like, sitting atop the Rock Music landscape.

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