Snake Bite Love



by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
September 30th, 2005 | 10 replies | 7,426 views

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

In the rock and roll world, the word Mötorhead pretty much rhymes with «legend». With a career spanning more than 25 years, Lemmy and Co have always stayed faithful to their brash, loud-as-f**k hard rock sound. In fact, they have become part of the holy triad of «every-album-sounds-the-same»: Mötorhead, AC/DC and Iron Maiden :D.

But sounding the same every time doesn’t mean they are a bad band. This is fully proven by the quality of most of their albums, and by the number of quotable songs in their repertoire: Ace Of Spades, Sacrifice, Bomber can all be namedropped in a «who-knows-their-metal-better» type of conversation. The band’s latter stages may not have been as proficient or legendary as their earlier years, but Mötorhead have continued to produce a fairly reliable and respectable output.

Snake Bite Love is an example of that output. Ace Of Spades it may not be, but it’s still a record that teaches younger, snottier bands a thing or two. It comprises twelve rocking, rollicking songs that, while never straying too far from the typical M-Head sound, still manage to incorporate elements lifted from different musical genres, ranging from punk to metal, stoner rock or even tribal groove metal! Yet – once again thanks to the band’s experience – the album never sounds like a melting pot, instead incorporating the different genres into the group’s trademark sound.

But the fact that the band are flirting with different genres doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of rocking out like before. The intro riff to Love For Sale is a clear example of just that, assaulting our speakers with monolithic force. But before we get to the tracklist, here is the band lineup for this album:

Lemmy (of course!) – Hugely distorted bass/throaty vocals

Mikkey Dee – Dynamic drums

Phil Campbell – Shredding guitar

And here is the analysis for each of the songs:

Love For Sale – Starting on a huge rock’n’roll riff, this is the typical Mötorhead track, with pounding drums and a nice solo to top it all off. This one appeared in the Bride Of Chucky soundtrack, but it just sounds sooooo much better here, in context. Lyrically, it’s yet another song about sex, where Lemmy tells the girl to «do it right» so she can get through the night, among other smile-inducing «advice» of the genre. Overall, a very good track to open the album. (5/5)

Dogs Of War – A more complex track, both lyrically and musically. This is a song about medieval wars – I think – and in fact the music hugely resembles a catapult rattling its way through a battlefield. Lemmy spews out the kind of speech that a commanding officer would give his troops, and we get the sense these guys are probably not going to last the night…the lyrics are actually meaningful and we get the feeling Lemmy is being sarcastic on his views about war. Unfortunately, the solo isn’t very interesting and the whole song is a bit too raucous. Still an excellent cut, though. (3,5/5)

Snake Bite Love – The most typically Mötorheadian of all the songs on this album, this develops at a quick pace, with shredding riffs from Phil Campbell and dynamic beats from the awesome Mikkey Dee. The lyrics are nowhere near as meaningful as the ones on the previous song, and basically revolve around Lemmy’s love of snakes :D. It’s basically a fun loving song, and very enjoyable to listen to. Unfortunately, the solo slows the tempo down considerably; it would have sounded much better with a shredding rock-and-roll solo that kept in pace with the rest of the song. However, this is still one heck of a great song! (5/5)

Assassin – At first, you’re going to hate this song; at second listen, you’ll sort of like it; at third listen you’ll sing along to it; at fourth listen, you’ll probably hate it again. The reason? It’s just really un-Motorheadish . The chorus – if you could call it a chorus – does feature the band’s typical sound, but the verse sounds like a piledriver roaring through concrete, and the bridge is a weird and totally out of place tribal thingy, which could perfectly have been avoided. All in all, probably the weakest song on the album. Oh yeah – and the lyrics are abut Death, the assassin. (2,5/5)

Take The Blame –This one starts on a fast double-bass riff from Dee, who is shortly afterwards joined by the other musicians. Musically, this is vintage M-Head, except slightly faster than usual; lyrically, we see Lemmy trying to put a political spin on his lyrics, and he doesn’t fare too badly. Plus, there’s an insanely catchy chorus to top it all off. Unfortunately, the solo is a nonentitiy, but this is still another one of this album’s standouts. (5/5)

Dead And Gone – By this point, the fact that Motorhead introduce a ballad in one of their records comes as no surprise; still, it’s weird to listen to Lemmy sing in his throaty voice backed only by an eerie strummed guitar. It really doesn’t sound too good, and we are relieved when all h*ll finally breaks loose. The song goes on alternating between these two streaks, and it’s not really very interesting. Another skippable track. (3/5)

Night Side – Another vintage Motorhead track, complete with excellent chorus and dumb-but-catchy chorus.Once again, the lyrical thematics are dark and foreboding, as Lemmy sings about what lurks around at night. A good song, but not a standout point on the album (4/5)

Don’t Lie To Me – Another typically Motorheadian track, and this time it recovers the band’s usual thematic: females. The chorus is slightly weaker here than on other tracks on the album, but this is still a not-half-bad song, just a little non-descript.(3,5/5)

Joy Of Labour – On this song, the band’s blues influences really shine through, as the rhythm is basically an uncompromising boogie. In the lyrics, Lemmy talks about sh*tty jobs and sh*tty lives, which makes the title sound utterly ironic. The chorus is attractive and so is the solo. All in all, another quite pleasant track, although by no means a standout. (3/5)

Desperate For You – Oooh yeah! A ripping, roaring, take-no-prisoners wonder of a track, and perhaps the most typically Motorhead in the entire album. It’s all here – fast drums, crunching guitars, raspy vocals, love/sex lyrics, a monster of a chorus and YES! FINALLY! A shredding rock’n’roll solo from Phil Campbell. All in all, one of the top three tracks on the album, and one for the ages. Sing it with me: «that’s why I’m a desperado/Desperate for you!» Marvellous. (5/5)

Better Off Dead – Nice way to finish off the album, once again it’s a typically Motorhead musical basis, over which Lemmy sings one of his usual «don’t mess with me» lyrics. By no means a standout, but a nice ending to a nice album. (3/5)

All in all, a good album, but one tends to miss the band’s old, careless lyrics and attitude. Many of these lyrics are politically or socially conscious, which is not very usual with Motorhead. Still, if you want an introduction to this great band, this isn’t a bad place to start.

Recommended Tracks:

Love For Sale
Snake Bite Love
Desperate For You

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 1st 2005


I really don't like Motorhead. They just bore me. But good review.

October 1st 2005


Motorhead was originally labbelled a metal band no? I dunno why they are in rock. Anyway... good review but someone should review the classic motorhead albums.

October 13th 2005


A perfect album I think, many people don't like this album, because they say it was recorded bad. Best songs are: Snake Bite Love, Take The Blame and Desperate For You.

October 13th 2005


I heard dogs of war. I thought it was pretty cool seriously.

October 13th 2005


Well, I hate this band with a fiery passion. Lemmy's voice is about as tuneful as one of my farts.

October 14th 2005


and that coming from a guy with a Chimaira avatar... :P

March 29th 2006


what the milkman said

January 6th 2014


Album Rating: 1.5

Not a good album at all. Only a couple of songs are really enjoyable and Lemmy's lyrics are poor.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

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