REVIEW: MOTORHEAD – “Bad Magic”
Motörhead have been in the rock n’ roll business since the Palaeolithic age, not giving a tinker’s damn about evolution of genres or the changing dynamics of the scene around them. Motörhead created rock anthems, and became icons, and did drugs, and played loud and fast – they are the definition of rock n’ roll. It seems like being a rock legend had taken a toll on Lemmy lately, with some health issues coming in the way of playing live, but there is no hint of exhaustion in their new album ‘Bad Magic’.
A Motörhead album review does not require sesquipedalian and ostentatious display of vocabulary, because it does not go well with mood. ‘Bad Magic’ is something you would like to listen to as you park your Harley Davidson and enter a bar in slow motion. The guitar solos invoke the scenery of a bar fight behind as you light your cigarette, not giving a fuck, While the cute bartender ogles at you and the bulge in your leather jeans. You know, the standard Motörhead album.
‘Bad Magic’ features 13 tracks of hard rock lasting 42 minutes of speed and power. This is not an album that demands a track-by-track review, hence I’m just going to highlight some interesting tracks. “Victory of Die” is a great opener; the energy of the guitars in the track sets the tone of what’s to come in the album. It also has one of the best guitar solos of the album. “Thunder and Lightning” is my favourite track on the record; the riff is goddamn catchy and the vocals are crazy as ever. “Electricity”, “Teach Them How to Bleed” and “Shoot Out All Your Lights” are some of the fist-pumping songs here that keep the album gelled together. The riff on the “Shoot Out All of Your Lights” track sounded like it could have come from a Megadeth record.
“Till the End” is a slow tempo track and almost a love ballad. Yes, you read that correctly. You’d think Lemmy would not be that good with singing, and not the half-singing half-shouting that he always does, but he executes it well albeit with some help of backing vocals. On the other hand, “Choking on Your Screams” has Lemmy going completely rough with the vocals, bordering on growling, and it’s a darker track overall. Another interesting track, which is also the final track, is the cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”, where Motörhead gives their own twist to it without ruining the original.
Motörhead might be nearing the fag end of their career, but it does look like they will end it on a high. The vocals are still going strong and the rawness of Lemmy is still present. The production is not very loud like a lot of modern records out there, and it still has the charm of the old Motörhead records. There are some tracks that are a bit stale with regards to riff-writing due to their familiarity to older fare, but hey, it’s still fun. ‘Bad Magic’ is another good album in Motörhead’s catalogue, and another album that brings out the carefree essence of Motörhead. Rock ‘n’ roll, brothers!