Welcome to Hard Rock 101. First question: Do you know Motorhead
If you answered 'no', then get the f*ck out and go play in traffic.
Honestly, there should be no one in the Hard Rock community who doesn't know Lemmy and the gang. They've been around probably longer than your mother, and they've probably insulted her some how too. They're dirty, sleazy, rockin' dirt bags that never know when to put the bottle down but always know when to pick up a guitar. And they're still comin on strong with "Kiss of Death
have always put out quality albums, except for a few ("Sacrifice
was horrible and "Hammered
" was subpar to me). But what separates these guys from the next band is the fact that they don't change. They don't honestly care what gets on the radio. They don't care what makes the most money. They just wanna be loud, fast, and rude. And "Inferno
", their last release, proved this just from being the heaviest album they've ever put forward. Well, "Kiss of Death
" looks to improve upon this at points, and even incorporate some of their groove from albums like "1916
So the boys from Mo'head are back...alright, what's cool"
1. It's full-frontal assault riffs
- Combine Punk, Rock, Metal, and Blues and out pops an already drunken Motorhead
. And there's nothing really new here. Is that a bad thing" Hell no. They've never had to change, and they never should, really. They've gotten heavier over time, and the opening track, "Sucker
", sure as hell proves it. Kicking off with a shredding Metal-esque palm-mute attack courtesy of Campbell, "Sucker
" fires right off the bat with the utter heaviness that was found on "Inferno
". The song is a definite head banger, with a touch of classic Motorhead
found in its slightly melodic chorus. The next song is even better. "One Night Stand
" will remind you of that groove that was found in their past work, as it has a slight 80's rock feel to it in the riffs that make you feel like snapping your fingers and tapping your toes the whole time. It also has very, very small Blues tinge to it...quite nice. The next song almost has a Radio-Rock feel to it, which might turn some off from it at first. "Trigger
" kicks off with a almost-feel-good guitar that seems to slide along, and some people might go "ewww not Motorhead!
". But if you can get past that, the song quickly changes into a heavy, fist pumping thrashing song. The pre-chorus is rather imaginative guitar part, which is rare in their music, with the chorus being one of the most melodic on the album. "Under the Gun
" kicks off with a plogging bass line from yours-truly Lemmy before the rest of the gang joins in. The main riff consists of brass palm mutes with a quick fill at the end. The song is the slowest so far, and has the most punk feel than most on this album. But the next song is going down as one of the top 5 Motorhead
songs ever written. "God Was Never On Your Side
" is an epic ballad. Featuring a beautiful acoustic guitar the seems to float over and over, it cuts into a distorted electric guitar that throws out split-second notes and let them hang. It's amazing, to say the least. The guitar work in the chorus is simply splendid. "Living in the Past
" comes right back from where "Under the Gun
" left off and blasts your speakers to bits with thick riffs complete with chugging guitars that lock out their notes inbetween thick palm mutes. The chorus feels choppy, for some reason, which is probably due to the mixture of start-stop riffs from Campbell. Bringing back in the groove factor, "Christine
" will remind you of "Angel City
" from "1916
" with a swinging guitar, melodic chorus, all the while still be brash and head banging. The groove-ness continues on with "Sword of Glory
". The chorus, while melodic, isn't quite as interesting as the past songs. It just feels a bit flat and dull occasionally. The first single off this album, "Kingdom of the Worm
", at first is hard to swallow. It's got a great Metal-type bass intro from Lemmy that seems to pop all over the place, but its really dark and has a more sinister tone to it than the past tracks. While they were fun and bouncy and carefree, "Kingdom of the Worm
" feels angry and dark. The main riffs are thick palm mutes with a quick, deep fill the goes right into a straight-forward chorus. Very atmospheric. But, just like as always, Motorhead
will come bouncing back with something that counters it, and "Going Down
" is no exception. Its bluesy-rock riffs almost remind me of "Bomber
". It's a great, head-banging closer with a huge careless attitude to back it all the way through.
- Lemmy is still Lemmy, to put it simply. If you didn't like him before, chances are...wait, no, yea, you're still gonna hate him. His voice never has seemed to change from ageing, as he still has that primitive, throaty voice. And once again, he does his job perfectly. Tracks like "Sucker
" and "Christine
" show off not only a melodic side to him, but also a deep, grunt growl out off the back of his throat. And on "Kingdom of the Worm
", I've actually become scared of him. He makes his voice even lower and almost sneers as he gurgles out "Do you remember...Do you remember me, yes" I remember what we are...
". Quite freaky when you hear him chop those words up, seriously. And on the ballad "God Was Never On Your Side
", he sounds amazing. He actually sings the whole time, and while I wouldn't want to hear what he sounds like without the instruments backing him up, I'll tell you right now he sounds amazing. He perfectly matches the tone of the song and will even go from soft singing to a quick yell to show off his frustration. Awesome stuff.
And his bass playing, while it's gone to a less dominant role than his past work, is still good. Tracks like "Under the Gun
" and "Kingdom of the Worm
all feature great plugging bass intros, especially the latter.
Lemmy's lyrics have even drifted back to a carefree attitude at points. While the last release, "Inferno
", was a bit more serious, Lemmy found a way to put in some of his old attitude onto tracks like "Sucker
", "One Night Stand
", and "Going Down
". Take some lines off of "Sucker
" when Lemmy yells out: "What we do, is break the law!
" and even "Nobody cares if your in or your out, we gonna give you a smack in the mouth!
" But it really picks up on "One Night Stand
" when Lemmy proudly proclaims "I've been a slut all my life!
". Or even on "Going Down
", with the constant chant of "You can't mess with Doctor Rock!
". But, for the most part, the lyrical content is still kinda dark here and there. Which is especially true on the downright creepy "Kingdom of the Worm
", where at the end Lemmy shouts out "All men must suffer!
". But the best lyrics have to go to the best track on the album, which would be "God Was Never On Your Side
". The whole song is Lemmy questioning the existence of God, with lines like "Why is he silent...IS HE BLIND" Or are we abandoned in the end"
What's 'meh' here then
1. Well, really, the solos
- I was very irritated when I heard the solos off of this album. I thought Campbell was out of his stage of crappy solos. On "Inferno
", he shredded all over the place. Every song had some ripping solo that I just loved. But here, he's gone back to his garbage, 10-15 second long solos. It irks me. While most of them are just straight up shred fests like on "Sucker
", "One Night Stand
" and "Christine
", some of them are more melodic, like on "God Was Never On Your Side
" and "Sword of Glory
". And I know this is gonna come as a shock (sarcasm) but "God Was Never On Your Side
" also has the best solo, coming straight off the bat with some shredding that flows into some melody and fluctuates back and forth. Some of these tracks like "Devil I Know
" and "Trigger
" don't even have a solo, and the one on "Going Down
" feels more like a lead part than one. Come on Campbell, I know you can do better.
What is just bad here"
1. Slightly repetitive and some bad songs...
- After awhile, this stuff begins to sound the same soundly. It's loud and heavy, but almost every song is like that and you'll think you're listening to one big song. Annoying, honestly. And some of these songs, such as "Devil I Know
" and "Be My Baby
" are just not that good at all. "Devil I Know
" is the same way as "One Night Stand
" in the groove category, though far less interesting. It feels a bit more repetitive, and is a bit more of a Rocker. It's the first unfortunate skippable track. The other song is easily the worst on the entire album. Sitting through this song might give you brain damage. "Be My Baby
" reminds me of something off the atrocious album "Sacrifice
". It tries to be too heavy, with chugging riffs and a straight-forward chorus. Just skip over it, you'll be much happier you did.
2. Not enough stronger tracks...
- Most of these songs are all of good quality, but the truly great ones are far and few between. This stuff is solid, but some of the songs fall into the category off 'good, but not great', and can be quite frustrating to many. There are also some tracks that border on the line of filler, like "Under the Gun
" and "Devil I Know
". "Under the Gun
" is still a good track, but its not up to snuff with some of the others that are even at the 'good' level. Simply put, after the first two songs ("Sucker
" and "One Night Stand
"), you got to wait awhile to get to some more great tracks.
"Kiss of Death
" is a solid release from these boys. Songs like "Sucker
", "One Night Stand
" and "God Was Never On Your Side
" are all gonna be some of Motorhead's
best and will be remembered for awhile. And others, like "Be My Baby
, are gonna cause some fans to kick themselves over and over. And while Campbell does a decent job, he could've done better. But that doesn't make this album not good. It still is. It's a good staple in the career, and it shows that Motorhead
can continue to put out quality music, even at their age.
One Night Stand
*God Was Never On Your Side*
Kingdom of the Worm
* = Song that you should hear if you like music at all.