Motorhead
Overnight Sensation


3.5
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
December 28th, 2017 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A successful combination of Motorhead’s classic sound with a slightly modern touch.

It is already known that the ‘90s weren’t kind to those who flourished during the ‘80s. Experiencing the diminishing effect that exaggeration had on the teen population was arguably one of the most interesting and gratifying realities of that decade. Every metal publication and subsequently metalhead blamed grunge, but the truth was that silly hair, androgynous looks and a traditional/conventional approach to metal just didn’t speak to the soul of troubled youth anymore. Even more importantly, those who ruled the ‘80s had run out of mojo songwriting-wise. Consequently, the popularity of acts like Megadeth, AC/DC and Slayer was decreasing and even Iron Maiden who had no trouble filling large arenas, were playing in bars and venues with limited capacity.

Despite the above, Motorhead were doing just fine both in terms of popularity and quality with a couple of solid releases such as 1916 and Bastards. Nevertheless, Sacrifice left a lot to be desired as far as production and songwriting were concerned and the band was blamed for trying too much to sound modern by adding even some Pantera elements. On top of those, bear in mind that in a post-Load world the stylistic choices as far as hair is concerned were scrutinized and overanalyzed. Therefore, seeing Lemmy without his iconic friendly mutton chops on just the second Motorhead cover that doesn’t feature iconic mascot Snaggletooth was cause for alarm.

As a result of the above and not the quality of songs per se, Overnight Sensation is one of those albums that made a poor first impression to my young impressionable self but grew on me immensely over the years. What makes the band’s 13th studio release an enjoyable listen is the successful combination of the classic Motorhead recipe with a modern touch. The production here is heavy, dirty but not the muddy mess that Sacrifice is. More importantly, the guitar playing is improved with some characteristic Phil Campbell riffs on the energetic "Civil War" and the rock ‘n’ roll "Crazy Like a Fox". In addition, Lemmy is still on his prime and what is apparent after a six-album run as a four-piece, is that Motorhead work better as a power trio. Of course, there are a couple of run of the mill tracks such as “Eat the Gun”, “Them Not Me” and “Shake the World” but they don’t reduce the overall experience significantly. In fact, Overnight Sensation includes two of Motorhead’s best ‘90s tracks in the form of “"I Don't Believe a Word" and the ballsy title track; two midtempo groovy compositions that make the album worth the price of admission.

Overall, this is a surprisingly solid release in an era where Motorhead seemed to be running out of steam and this is exactly the reason that makes it a successful example of good leadership. A four-piece or a power trio, Lemmy’s sense of direction and perseverance is what made Motorhead one of the greatest acts of all time and an inspiration to fans. Overnight Sensation might not be Motorhead’s greatest achievement but life is so much more than great achievements; it is about withstanding and dealing with adversity and as such, this is a special LP.



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user ratings (134)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

RIP Lemmy.

Digging: Savage Machine - Abandon Earth

Divaman
December 28th 2017


1805 Comments


Not a big Motorhead fan, but nice review.

Digging: When We Land - Introvert's Plight

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Diva. I actually forced myself to write this one because today is two years from Lemmy's passing so it's definitely not one of my best reviews but I just wanted to honor the man's legacy.

EvoHavok
December 28th 2017


7435 Comments


Already two years, huh... R.I.P. Great read, manos.
First two sentences in the second paragraph both start with "Nevertheless", you might wanna change that.


Digging: Tribulation - Down Below

tastepolice
December 28th 2017


246 Comments


rip

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Evo, nice catch!

Robbit
December 28th 2017


61 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice one, manosg! This album has always been a personal favorite for Motorhead, even isn't quite at the level of their classic stuff. "I Don't Believe A Word" is one of Lemmy's best songs ever. He's said basically the same thing in many other songs, but not quite as eloquently as he did here.



"Don't say that word, I know it's only fools

Who do not know their fate is just

All the justice in the world

Is not enough to buy my faith and trust"



manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Rob! Yeah "I Don't Believe A Word" is pretty underrated, Lemmy was a pretty good lyricist as well.

Tunaboy45
December 28th 2017


16050 Comments


great review man, can't believe it's already been 2 years

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Tuna and agreed feels like it's only been a year or so.

Donchivo
December 28th 2017


638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great read! I do agree with you that this stands out among its predecessors and successors. Great in terms of variety IMO, the mentioned 'I dont#t believe a Word' with the completely unusual clean singing is awesome (even thou I hated it for that very reason at first). But the main reason for me are the two standout tracks 'Civil war' and 'Broken'. For me those two are up there with the bands classic. I remember a friend of mine being completely surprised during a Motorhead show back then when learning that thse were in fact new tracks....

Digging: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Wilding in the West

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Don! Oh man a Motorhead show must have been a great experience. Had the chance to see them a couple of times (especially in 1998) but completely blew it.

ChaoticVortex
December 28th 2017


564 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a big fan of mid-late 90's Motorhead (in fact they made their weakest records in that period), but this one is pretty decent. Good review

wham49
December 28th 2017


3736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

always like the 90's for Motorhead, better than most eighties metal bands, with the exception of March, the 90's albums are pretty good although admittedly poorly pushed by the record company, i do not think the United states was able to get Bastards on release, terribly managed band and still legendary

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Indeed. Actually this one had a much better distribution than their previous stuff iirc.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2017


7736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album.

rockandmetaljunkie
December 31st 2017


7052 Comments


Somehow I just knew a Motorhead review with a Manosg signature will pop up these days. I think it's safe to say that it has become a tradition.

Happy new year man. Best wishes !!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2017


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Happy new year dude!



Writing something for Motorhead these days is the least I can do for these legends. This year had to force myself a bit but no regrets. Hands down one of the greatest ever.

deslad
January 8th 2018


607 Comments


I must have missed this one manos, great review though.

RIP Lemmy

Digging: Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2018


10834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers des!



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