1 of 2 thought this review was well written
The entire album, 'Bastards', can be very easily be described; it's like a pissed-off horse bucking you in the teeth until you've received significant brain damage, then leaving to go prance around.
This was the first Motorhead album to feature the short-lived line up of Lemmy on bass/vocals, Campbell and Wurzel on guitar, and Dee on drums. The sound, still planted in Motorhead's old roots, took a new approach on this album. Lemmy once described the band as being 'One-half punk, one-half metal, and one-half good ole rock n roll.' And yes, that does equal three-halves. But for this, it would be more like three-fourths metal, one-eighth punk, and three-fourths of good ole rock n roll. Just from the opener, 'On Your Feet or On Your Knees', you can tell this going to be more of a straightforward rock/metal approach. Gone is a large punk influence, and is drastically replaced by heavier and faster riffs. However, Motorhead hasn't completely turned its back to punk. The track, 'Death or Glory', showcases that signature Motorhead sound, which could be described as what Lemmy said as being 'One-half punk, one-half metal, and one-half of good ole rock n roll'. Now, as for my comparison up top, the first half of the album is like getting kicked in the face. And kicked hard. 'On Your Feet or On Your Knees' doesn't mess around. There's not even a solo! But what's here is a pissed-off Motorhead. It's loud, it's fast, and it's got enough crunch in it that you will probably bang your head so hard you'll get a stroke. That's how the first half goes, and then you'll reach 'Born to Raise Hell', and besides being the highlight of the album, it's just a tad bit slower, and is almost like Motorhead was applying the brakes to a speeding car. The song, as I said before, features slightly slower riffs, and has more of a 'crunch' sound to it, and is actually like an anthem. The chorus is a definite yell along, which you will probably find yourself doing, very loudly I might add.
Now, notice how I said at the top ''then leaving to go prance around'' Well, right after 'Born to Raise Hell''there's an acoustic track, 'Dont Let Daddy Kiss Me'. It's almost like a sudden change, and not a very good one. Here, you've been rockin out, and all of a sudden, they strip it away to replace it with a slow acoustic song' Not exactly a good idea, since most people will hit skip over this song, hoping to find that same pace. However, the only heavy-paced song after this is 'Bad Woman', which picks up right where 'Born to Raise Hell' left off, except with a HUGE southern-rock influence. After that, most of the songs are slow, but still heavy. While 'I'm the Man' features heavy-riffs and is a definite head-banger, 'We Bring the Shake' features an opening riff that sounds like it was ripped right off of Van Halen. The final song is even a cover of an old Rolling Stones song, 'Jumping Jack Flash', which they did a very nice job covering it.
There are some great things going on in this album, but there are two main negative points I need to stress here: The solos, and the 2nd half of the album. First off, the solos. Campbell and Wurzel neglect to solo on some of these songs, such as 'On Your Feet or On Your Knees', which greatly annoys me. And if they do choose to solo, most of the time it's rather poorly. The solo on 'I'm the Man' is about as simple as they come, and doesn't impress me at all. However, credit should be due for their solos on 'Born to Raise Hell' and 'Bad Woman', which almost live up to 'Fast' Eddie's. Now, as for the 2nd half of the album, it tends to drag on and on. The songs begin to get repetitive, and they don't feel nearly as fresh as the openers. They're slower, of course, but the riffs sound all the same, and as I said before, 'We Bring the Shake' sounds like they ripped it off of Van Halen.
Overall, Motorhead can rock. There's a lot of good on here to easily outweigh the bad. You will probably have trouble finding this however, just because you have to get it online, or live in Germany. But if you call yourself a fan of these guys, don't let this album pass you up.
On Your Feet or On Your Knees
Death or Glory
Born to Raise Hell