Review Summary: Being the follow-up to one of my favorite Motorhead albums ('We Are Motorhead'), I had high hopes for 'Hammered'. What I got was a mixed bag. Phil went back to his average-styled solos, Mikey got quieter on drums, but Lemmy was still strong. There's so
My brain is fried right now. I've written so many reviews for Motorhead
that it feels like if I were to try and make some witty introduction right now, I would fail miserably. There's nothing that I haven't said about all of the aspects of this band. Booze-lovin', hard-rockin', and woman-absorbed men is how I would describe them. They look like they've never showered since the days of their youth, and they probably smell a bit funky too. But that smell would probably just be from cheap liquor and some groupie from the night before. They've got "Legend" status written all over them, and they probably out-age your dad. But still they continue on creating album after album, never showing any signs of slowing down. I have deep respect for them in their progression area, seeing as how they've never had to change the way they sound. If they like it, they play it. And what they like is crude, balls-to-the-wall riffs cemented with Lemmy's gurgled voice. And after more than 20 years, it still rings true.
" was the follow up to the hard hitting "We Are Motorhead
", which picked up the slack from the good, but also average "Snake Bite Love
". To me, at least, "Hammered
" doesn't follow the same heaviness that the past album showed, but instead showcased a movement back towards their 'Groove Era' (as I like to call it), which was from "1916
" and especially "March or Die
", which featured a more radio-friendly Motorhead
. Well, this album incorporates at points again a more radio-friendly style, and at points, it's great, but at others, it stinks.
The opening track, "Walk A Crooked Mile
", is a prime example of great radio-friendliness. It's actually got a small hint of pop-rock, and it's slightly slower than most of the stuff on this album. The main riff is one of an almost chugger, but it clings onto the catchy factor for the whole ride. And "Brave New World
" is just the same way, just a bit faster and even better. The opening guitar riff is incredibly straightforward palm mutes before it moves onto a very melodic verse, courtesy of Lemmy's slick bass playing. The chorus, again, is very melodic and what could've been a heavy riff feels soft and almost calming. The final last song in this category would be "Shut Your Mouth
", which is so incredibly simple and straight-up that it might've been a nu-metal song, but it seems to fit in just fine. The verse is lock-cruncher, with huge, brash fills in-between a long series of grinding palm mutes.
Now, what about the songs that just sucked then? Well, for starters, take "Mine All Mine
". It feels, in all honesty, like a pop-punk song. The opening guitar riff reminds me of something that MxPx
probably could've gotten away with, and while the verse is filled with crunchy riffs, it isn't enough to save this one from sinking. And "Dr. Love
", while it tries to be heavy, it reminds me too much of "Slither
" by "Velvet Revolver
", though I know this came out before that album. I'm just pointing out that it sounds too much like the genre of "Velvet Revolver
But the rest of the songs are typical, straight-up Motorhead
. "Down the Line
" features such hard hitting riffs that it could've fit in fine on their later release, "Inferno
". It's a punching song from start to finish. And literally, the same thing could be said for "Kill the World
". It's got chunked riffs that flick out from Phil's guitar a mile a minute, and Mikey's popping snare drum goes all over the place. "No Remorse
" is a brutal assault on your ears, as Lemmy and the gang grind and chug their way all over the song, leaving you near deaf. Only downfall is that during the chorus, there's some kind of synth, with a high-pitched note that's held out throughout the whole that makes it annoying. And "Red Raw
" is just like how it might sound: A fast paced, punk-metal oriented song that blasts its way right off the bat. The only stinker here would be "Voices From the War
", which while being one of the heaviest off this album, it just kinda drags on and feels a bit flat in some areas, like the seemingly monotone intro and chorus.
Phil's solos are like a mixed bag on this album. And while he does a great job of balancing out shredding and melody on tracks like "Walk A Crooked Mile
", his work on others like "Dr. Love
" aren't up to snuff. But some great shredders, like the one he does on "Brave New World
" and "No Remorse
" could've been made a lot more enjoyable if he would've extended them by a mere 5 seconds. I know Phil's got it in him to be one hell of a player, and it's always frustrated me when he doesn't show it.
But Lemmy is, was, and always be Lemmy. His voice has never changed. Maybe it gets deeper and darker over the years like his facial mole, but for the most part, he sounds the same as he did when he was a young pup. He shouts, barks, and gargles his way through this album with such pride that it's hard to even describe. Some of his best moments come from his sneering like talk off of "Brave New World
", his thoughtful and insightful sound on "Walk A Crooked Mile
", and his quick-word-spewing mouth on "Red Raw
". His bass playing also is heard pretty well here. While there are really no thumping bass intros that he's known for, he makes up for it with small variations and deep distortion on tracks such as "Brave New World
" and "Walk A Crooked Mile
While the lyrics get more serious with this band over time, which is still shown here, Lemmy finds a way to get his humor in here and there. "Brave New World
" has probably the most satire-based lyrics I've ever heard, and I about fell out of my chair laughing the first time I heard them. Lines like "God is on your side, but I don't think that you're on his, If Jesus showed up now he'd be in jail by next week!
" will always be some of my favorites. And "Dr. Love
" is another sexually based romp, with Lemmy shouting out "She does me in, and she'll do you too. She only got to shake it!
Overall, this is yet again another solid release from Motorhead
. While some of the songs might be below sub par, like "Voices From the War
" and "Mine All Mine
", others such as "Brave New World
" and "Walk A Crooked Mile
" more than outshine them. If you like these guys, you won't be disappointed with this album. And if you haven't heard them, this wouldn't be that bad of a place to start.
Walk A Crooked Mile
Brave New World