Motorhead
Overkill


4.0
excellent

Review

by Harrison Muecke USER (3 Reviews)
December 10th, 2007 | 93 replies


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One word can summarize this album: Badass.

The year is 1979. With classic albums such as The Clash's London Calling, or AC/DC's gargantuan megahit, Highway to Hell, it's often hard to find one caring about the British metal trio Motorhead. Their second album, Overkill, is the landmark album that boosted them into heavy metal mythology. Fronted by bassist and vocalist Lemmy Kilmister, they ARE the ultimate image of badassery. With his black button down slightly open to reveal his manly chest hair, cigarette hanging from his mouth, and grungy black hair flying about while he yells as what is often interpreted as "singing".

This "singing" by Lemmy is characterized by a deep, raspy growl of disjointed words. When you spin this record it is, and always has been obvious that Lemmy's lungs are plagued with oversmoking and tar. Now, this might sound horrendous at first, but you haven't listened to Motorhead yet. It's a double standard as Motorhead isn't Motorhead without Lemmy, and Lemmy cannot sing for jack sh*t unless he is apart of Motorhead and their collective sound. But then we find ourselves with their guitarist, "Fast" Eddie Clark. The guitar virtuoso got his nickname for a reason, that being he could play that six string mutha' damn quick. Sure this doesn't give the slightest bit of justice to Eddie's often western-style of shredding, but that doesn't make it any less true. We then find ourselves with Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor. Besides the fact that you are probably laughing from the obvious gimmickry of this band, this sonuvabitch can beat those snares and double bass like no ones business. He isn't necessarily the most important part of Motorhead, but at the time of Overkill, he did quite a bit to characterize the sound of the band.

First thing is first though. Press play on your iTunes, jam that puppy in your cd player, whatever...BOOM. The Philthy Animal explodes his double bass into your eardrums alongside a rockin' snare beat. The first time I heard this I wanted to bang my head like an 80's moshpit wannabe. This first song is the infamous title track, Overkill, and it is pure, raw, unadultered Motorhead-style rock. Lemmy's bass riff then jumps in, like with his rather signature quick and clear sound. Throughout the album, Lemmy's bass almost has the feel of a toned down guitar. Fast Eddie then begins his quick series of metal chords and this song jettisons in to a flurry. Three choruses later, Eddie brings in his first solo of the album, which in itself is quite impressive. Yet, just as you think the song is over, and the solo fades...bam, the pounding double bass of Phil starts back up again and the wail of Clarke's solo gets revived, and just as powerful as ever. Then the song stops again, and then they decided the Animal should bring the double bass back in with another solo. Of course this may seem taxing at and unneeded on a first listen, but this strange and unique twist to the song is what makes it so appealling. The trio really did "Overkilled" the song.

Like most Motorhead songs, the lyrics are nothing above juvenille party poems. An excellent example of this woud be the first couple of lines on the album.
"Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud,
So good you can't believe it's screaming with the crowd,
Don't sweat it, get it back to you,
Overkill, Overkill"
Sure they're nothing to write home about, but they work well with the music and flow of the album. Lemmy never promised shakespeare.

The next song is Stay Clean, the another clear standout track. It follows a rather formulaic Motorhead pattern of progressing chords, verse chorus verse, a guitar solo, and a rather pleasing bass solo at 1:10, something that many modern metal bands lake nowadays. All and all its effectiveness doesn't come from the actual song itself, but the presentation that Motorhead has. Motorhead is all about the presentation of a song, similar to their contemporary rival AC/DC. Most of their work have rather similar song structures and lyrics, but what makes the tracks so effective is that its not just anyone singing, its Lemmy Kilmister dammit. It's not just anyone playing the guitar, its Fast Eddie Clarke dammit. Its not just anyone playing music, its Motorhead dammit.

The rest of the album continues onward after Stay Clean, and one could probably say it is rather futile to discuss each of the remaining songs as they all have the same sound and structure. That's wrong, its not futile, its a damn injustice to Motorhead to do this. One could never embody Motorhead in a simple analytical paragraph, because then they would be forgetting everything that makes the band who they are. Each of these songs are purely fun and nostalgic (even though this album was released 11 years before i was even born). Their simple, raw nature is what makes each one of them so individualistic and appealing. From the raspy speech to grinding guitar chords, excellent drumming, and headbanging bass 'riffs'. To anyone who loves their classic metal origins, buy this album. In its veins lie some of the real roots of metal in its purest form. One word can summarize this album: Badass.

Track Picks:
-Overkill
-Stay Clean
-I'll Be Your Sister
-Limb By Limb


user ratings (403)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
McP3000
December 10th 2007


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Dammit, how do you center?

Edit: FixedThis Message Edited On 12.10.07

south_of_heaven 11
December 10th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's a few grammar issues here and there, but this is a solid review. Album is pure gold.

McP3000
December 10th 2007


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Examples pleases. I would like to fix them.

south_of_heaven 11
December 10th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Highway to Hell, its often hard

should be "it's"
The first time I heard this i wanted to bang

Capitalize "i"
One word can summarize this album. Badassery.

...can summarize this album: badassery (though it should just be 'badass' IMO)
It follows a rather formulaic Motorhead pattern of progressing chords, verse chorus verse, a guitar solo, and a rather pleasing bass solo at 1:10. Something that many modern metal bands lake nowadays.

coma instead of a period after 1:10
Stuff like that.

McP3000
December 10th 2007


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thanks. Ill change it.

Any other criticism/comments are appreciated.

DerMond
December 10th 2007


126 Comments


to be frank i'd like it if you talked more about the music instead of just Lemmy and 'badassery'...

although Lemmy IS Badass....

this site should jsut have a free article section to discuss lemmy's badassery, cus this is not the place for it.

Erratic
December 10th 2007


1120 Comments


You spent way too much time discussing the band itself. You only described 2 songs and then told us the rest of the album was like that.

McP3000
December 10th 2007


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I know, i sort of rushed the review. However, to be fair, most of the music does sound the same. :/

McP3000
December 10th 2007


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Bump

Whoever negged this, i don't mind. I just like to know why so I could fix it next time. Thanks

jrowa001
December 10th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i need to get this album. all i have is Ace of Spades and Iron Fist. both are top notch albumsThis Message Edited On 12.10.07

McP3000
December 10th 2007


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, this one is even better than Iron Fist imoThis Message Edited On 12.10.07

Ovrot
August 19th 2010


10554 Comments


Album kicks ass.

Digging: Funeral Sex - Anal War

rockandmetaljunkie
April 15th 2011


3717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Raw, powerful and badass.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2012


1917 Comments


A personal favourite of mine, this is full of classics to the brim. Fucking ace.

Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything

Spec
February 6th 2012


27271 Comments


How is Lemmy still living?

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

Ire
March 17th 2012


41822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

rules

Ovrot
March 17th 2012


10554 Comments


yeah

jet22
August 1st 2012


66 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Epic record

KILL
August 1st 2012


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

darkthrone1
December 5th 2012


387 Comments


i like your review's summary. album's badass



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