Review Summary: We are Motörhead, and we like sausage rölls.
Lemmy and company have been playing good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll since before most people can remember. After being kicked out of Hawkwind, due to an addiction to amphetamines, Lemmy decided to start a good honest rock band who played everything louder than anyone else. This band was Motörhead, and they have been playing rock ‘n’ roll for over 35 years.
Motörhead are often accused of simply playing the same song over and over again with little variety. In reality that does hold a kernel of truth and Aftershock does have a lot of similarity to previous Motörhead work. Unlike some other bands however, Motörhead manage to create a type of music that remains interesting despite its repetitiveness and the passage of time. Aftershock follows this trend and is a good listen if you are a fan of Motörhead, however there is nothing here which will allow the band to win over new fans.
Aftershock does have a few shining stars that help it stand out amongst their discography, such as the mid-tempo song ‘Lost Women Blues’. When compared to most of their work, ‘Lost Women Blues’ is much slower than normal Motörhead style. The song feels like it could be a cover of some ancient blues song, with the guitar work sounding very 1930s in style. It is times like these that remind you that Motörhead are not a metal band, but are still very much the rock band that Lemmy founded back in 1975.
This version of Motörhead has been around since 1992 and the band perform very well together. Lemmy provides an interesting style of bass play and he sounds more like a guitarist than a bassist. Phil Campbell pulls off some excellent solo work and keeps it up throughout the entire album, not missing out a single note. This is all pulled together by the excellent drumming from Mickey Dee, who pulls out both technical and powerful drumming.
Aftershock is not a new Ace of Spades, and there is nothing here that Motörhead haven’t done before. The track listing doesn’t contain any new ‘Iron Fist’ ‘Bomber’ or ‘Ace of Spades’ but there is some hope. However, the album is possibly one of the weakest ones that Motörhead have released in the past 10 years.
They still manage to pull off a good show despite this and there are a few quality moments. Songs like ‘Long Women Blues’ are among the best, and towards the end the quality of the album does improve, as Motörhead sound more aggressive and even louder. ‘Queen of the Damned’ is a short and powerful rocker and ‘Keep your Powder Dry’ is one of the best heavy rockers that Motörhead have released this side of the 90s. These help to make the album stand out a bit more amongst the rest of Motörhead’s discography.
Lemmy might be getting old and his moles might be getting bigger, but this metal God is far from retiring. His whiskey and nicotine soaked voice sounds more or less the same now as it did thirty years ago. He is still going strong and Aftershock is testament to that fact. Whilst there might be nothing on the album that truly stands out amongst the masses of work that is Motörhead’s, it is not a bad album none the less. You can probably expect Lemmy to release his next album in two years time, because Lemmy is more than certainly going to die in the saddle.