Review Summary: Is it possible for a musician to be larger than music itself? Can any human being be really irreplaceable, even though life always moves forward?
Opinions might be divided on both topics but in the case of Ian Fraser Kilmister, both questions’ answers are an emphatic yes! Of course Lemmy is larger than rock ‘n’ roll, and hell will freeze over before a new character comes to replace the legendary Motorhead leader. Also, next time you call in sick or your tummy aches, try not to forget that a 70-year old man with more miles than a goddamn public bus managed to perform live almost a month before his ascension to Valhalla.
It’s surreal to even write that this is the last scheduled Motorhead release while Lemmy was alive, but I guess only death could kill this band (pun intended). Clean Your Clock
, recorded in Munich on November 20 and 21st of 2015, isn’t just a live release but a historic testament to how a man can do what he loves until the very end. Nevertheless, despite the high sentimental value, this release proves why this band is easily among the very best live acts ever. Even under the well-known circumstances, Lemmy’s mere presence is enough to send shivers down the spine of any true rocker. Yes, he does sound tired, he’s often out of breath and anyone who has jammed No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith
and (the underrated) Everything Louder Than Anyone Else
, can figure out that something isn’t right. But there’s no doubt that he’s still one of the greatest frontmen and his performance is more than satisfactory.
In addition, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee are their usual selves as they inject tons of energy while offering a couple of highlights in the process such as Phil’s bluesy solo before “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch” and of course “Whorehouse Blues” when Mikkey Dee comes out of his set and plays the guitar next to his bandmates. Another memorable point is Lemmy’s dedication of “Dr. Rock” to Philthy Animal who had passed 10 days before the concert and Mikkey’s drum solo on the song as a form of tribute. In terms of album representation, Overkill
gets the lion’s share with four songs, while there are two songs of each Ace Of Spades
In conclusion, judging Clean Your Clock
by purely musical standards, wouldn’t do the album justice. And if you haven’t heard any of the band’s live albums, you’d better start with No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith
and Everything Louder Than Anyone Else
. However, even with the circumstances at the time of the album’s recording, Motorhead once again prove why they’re one of the greatest live acts of all time, on what is proven as the last stand of a larger than life character.