Motorhead
Rock 'N' Roll


5.0
classic

Review

by Grant Hunter USER (76 Reviews)
June 4th, 2006 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist


Poor Motörhead. After an unaccepted album (Another Perfect Day), they lost yet another great guitarist, Brian Robertson. After a few auditions, Phil Campbell and Wurzel were both added to be the band’s next guitarists. “Orgasmatron" ensued, with the band returning to their fast paced, dirty roots. However, the album left much to be desired, and I for one was left with the question “Can Phil and Wurzel even remotely play as well as Eddie or Brian?".

So to be honest, I was a tad bit skeptical in buying this album. I had already purchased future Motörhead albums, and out of the three I had bought (Hammered, Sacrifice, and 1916), only “1916" made me smile and bang my head. I had almost been convinced that besides on “1916", Phil and Wurzel couldn’t play worth a dime (Save Wurzel on Hammered, he had left the band before that came out).

But with one last hope of desperation, I ordered “Rock ‘N’ Roll", and prayed to God above that I would be blessed with some of the high quality that Motörhead had bestowed upon us with previous releases like “Iron Fist" and “Ace of Spades".

And boy, did I ever get what I wanted.

Not only is “Rock ‘N’ Roll" a true return to their classic blend of Punk, Metal, Rock, and Blues, but it’s a statement from the band that they know how to write an album. The title track, which is also the opener, takes you back to the days of “Overkill" with a standard drum intro, complete with chopped guitar riffs and a straightforward punk-like chorus. “Eat the Rich" was a leftover song that these boys had written for a British comedy movie of the same name, and with its funky bass intro and flowing guitars, it could’ve fit nicely on “Another Perfect Day". “Blackheart" is another rockin’ tune, complete with Rock/Blues influenced guitar riffs and a plugging bassline. When I first saw the name “Stone Deaf in the U.S.A.", I knew this sucker had to be good because another song by them, “Stone Deaf", was a simply amazing track. And I was in no way let down. Although “Stone Deaf in the U.S.A." has a main riff that is very similar to one of their previous songs, “No Class", it doesn’t make a difference. The Hard Rock riff will hit you at a million miles an hour, and will never let up. The main difference between the main riff here and the one on “No Class" is there is more of a focus on the palm mutes found in-between the quick bursts from the guitars. The next track, “Blessing", isn’t really a track at all. Its one the guys from Monty Python, Michael Palin, as he recites a “prayer" for the members of Motörhead. It’s downright hilarious, and I won’t spoil it for you all, but don’t skip over it. It’s a guaranteed laugh. The next track, “The Wolf" comes in off the silence of the previous track with another pounding drum intro, courtesy of the one and only Phil Taylor. The riffs that follow are very similar to the ones found on “Blackheart", but the tempo has been kicked up a bit to give it a more Punk-Rock feel. Who would’ve thought that “The Traitor" would feature one of the funkiest guitar riffs these guys have ever done, cause I wouldn’t. It’s got a nice, thick groove to it, so don’t be surprised to be snapping your fingers to it instead of banging your head. Or you might pull the “A Night at the Roxbury" and side-bob your head the whole way through. “Dogs" comes in with a chunked bass intro that soon is backed by the guitars in full force. It later goes on to become a more straightforward riffing sound, with the guitars sticking very close to the bass. “All For You" is probably the Bluesiest sounding song on this whole album, with a simple, intriguing guitar riff and a melodic chorus. As with a good deal of albums, you gotta save the best for last, and “Rock ‘N’ Roll" is no exception. “Boogeyman" showcases one of Lemmy’s best bass intros ever, which mixes in a nice deal of funk and punk to create one hell of a thumping intro. The guitars take a slight blues approach and add such a groove to the song that it makes you want to dance.

Lemmy’s bass playing on this album is even better than before. Not only do his thumping intros ring forever true here, such as on “Eat the Rich", “Dogs", and “Boogeyman", but variations pop up all over. Granted, they aren’t when he is singing, but on tracks like “Stone Deaf in the U.S.A." you can clearly hear him climbing his way up and down his fret board, adding another dimension to the song.

His vocals, as well, seem to swing back to that carefree attitude. He’s still got that gruff as hell voice that sounds like he’s been smoking ever since he was in his momma’s belly, but boy can the guy sound convincing. Whether he’s shouting out lines like “Put the bite on the son of a bitch! or just yelling random words, he seems right at home. “All For You" actually has him singing, for real this time, not just sounding higher. He is actually singing. And he is able to the match the guitars note-for-note, creating a nice big melodic chorus.

Lemmy’s lyrics also seem to mirror his vocals, whether it be the funny romp on why he doesn’t believe in marriage on “Rock ‘N’ Roll" with some great lines like “I like to fool around, love to tear 'em down". Or the downright hilarious “Eat the Rich", which contains some of Motörhead’s funniest lyrics, containing phrases like “Side order, could be your daughter, Finger licking good. Come on baby, eat the rich, Put the bite on the son of a bitch". The second to last song, “All For You", is rather strange for Lemmy though, as he once said he never wanted love or marriage, yet this song is so close to a love song with Lemmy singing out “The only one babe, to ever break my heart, Was you, such a shame".

I’ve been disappointed for awhile with Phil and Wurzel’s playing. Granted, the riffs are always an enjoyment, but their solos have always been lacking. Big time. Which was probably the biggest reason why I was ‘wowed’ by this album. Not only does each song contain a solo, but some of them contain two, and they aren’t short and crappy like they usually are from these two. On the title track, both Phil and Wurzel fire off separate solos, each equally impressive, and without the use of annoying effects. Most of these solos have their roots in old-school rock, like the ones found on “Eat the Rich" and “Stone Deaf in the U.S.A.", and both of those tracks even feature some excellent use of Slide-Guitars.

And Phil and Wurzel aren’t the only ones making a triumphant return. After leaving Motörhead to go join Brian Robertson, Phil Taylor finally got back in his mind and decided to rejoin the group, and his presence is felt throughout. His drum intros on the title track, and especially on “The Wolf", while being very simple, are all highly enjoyable. His ability to keep the sound tight on faster licks like on “Stone Deaf in the U.S.A." and “The Wolf" keep the song flowing.

Conclusion

I stand ashamed. I can’t believe that for a second I actually doubted Motörhead. Not only is “Rock ‘N’ Roll" true return to glory for these Brits, but it’s easily one of the best of their career. Phil and Wurzel prove on this album that can run with past Motörhead legend Eddie Clarke, and make some juicy riffs on top of that. And of course Lemmy is here, bringing his brash vocals and thumping basslines with him. Don’t let these one pass you up.

Overall – 5/5

Recommended Tracks
Rock ‘N’ Roll
Eat the Rich
Stone Deaf in the U.S.A.
Boogeyman



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Comments:Add a Comment 
tom79
June 4th 2006


3372 Comments


So how many is left now? Keep em coming though :p

A classic eh, I just might have to hear this, but i've been saying that for a while.
Eat The Rich is a sweet song.This Message Edited On 06.04.06

Digging: Karate - Some Boots

south_of_heaven 11
June 4th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha I think I've got about 4 left...
Yea, really, check this one out. It's really one of their best. I've gotta go through and give 'Ace of Spades' and 'Overkill' a 5 though, because they really are. But this one ranks up there with em.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 4th 2006


4405 Comments


Nicely done.

south_of_heaven 11
June 4th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*gasp!*
Could it be, are you...are you really back Bron-Yr-Aur?!!

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 4th 2006


4405 Comments


See latest journal.

Brain Dead
June 4th 2006


1150 Comments


Hey man, he just complimented you on your review. No need to be an asshole.

south_of_heaven 11
June 4th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahaha dont worry Brain Dead, it was just a joke. Bron-Yr-Aur writes some great stuff, I was just glad to see him back and that he had changed his mind. I wasn't trying to be mean in anyway.

Brain Dead
June 4th 2006


1150 Comments


Ok. Sorry I misinterpreted your comment.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 4th 2006


16089 Comments


I still haven't heard a Motorhead song, nor have I heard a word about them sans this site. I just have to go get something by them, I suppose this is a good place to start?

south_of_heaven 11
June 4th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeup, Iluvatar. This or Ace of Spades, Iron Fist, or Overkill. Or even Bomber. So one of those 5 is a great place to start.
And now I think I'm done commenting on this thing. i've overstayed my welcome.

Thor
June 4th 2006


10191 Comments


Very solid review, dude. I was never big on Motorhead, though.

pattern_recognition
June 7th 2006


950 Comments


I vote you review March Or Die next. 'twas my first Motorhead album, and I'm too lazy to do it myself.
Can't wait till they drop the new one.

south_of_heaven 11
June 7th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

March or Die was your favorite? Really? I've heard that's their worst album!

Laafe
June 7th 2006


347 Comments


excellent review dude. i only have ace of spades, and it is awesome. ill check this out.

pattern_recognition
June 7th 2006


950 Comments


Well it was my first, so I was like a Motorhead virgin. I dunno, I think it's solid. Guest spots from Slash and Ozzy, among others, some really cool tunes like Stand, Hellraiser, Too Good To Be True, and I Ain't No Nice Guy.
It is pretty different I guess, although the album I guess it's closest too is 1916.

DeafForever
August 13th 2006


50 Comments


Man, who is this awesome reviewer? He's just awesome.
Just like this album, which I'm listening to right now.
Boogeyman ftw

SCREAM!
August 13th 2006


10096 Comments


Great review, again.

metallicaman8
August 13th 2006


4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album owns so hard.

south_of_heaven 11
August 13th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album owns so hard.

You better believe it does!
I'm getting sick of going through all my old reviews and seeing all these '?'s' everywhere. I hope the coding error gets fixed and stuff...

deflepp0925
August 13th 2006


213 Comments


this album has a few good tracks, high points mainly being Rock 'N' Roll and Eat the Rich, other than this, the album is just kind of average
a few good tracks though i suppose



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