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Motorhead - "Motorizer" (CD)

Motorhead - "Motorizer" CD cover image

"Motorizer" track listing:

1. Runaround Man
2. Teach You How To Sing The Blues
3. When The Eagle Screams
4. Rock Out
5. One Short Life
6. Buried Alive
7. English Rose
8. Back On The Chain
9. Heroes
10. Time Is Right
11. The Thousand Names Of God

Reviewed by on January 27, 2009

"'Motorizer' continues the band's late-career creative burst that began with 2004's 'Inferno' and continued with 2006's 'Kiss of Death.'"

Unlike most metal gods, whose output tends to get milder as they age, Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister has rocked his way into his 60s with a ferocity unmatched by acts half his age.

Motorhead's latest booze-and-speed-fueled epic, "Motorizer," proves that you're only as old as you think you are. In Lemmy's case, that's a horny 17-year-old who's realized that most of what mom, dad and the government has told him is a sham.

The album starts out strong and fast, with "Runaround Man," which features a spectacular riff from guitarist Phil Campbell. Lemmy's talent for gloriously goofy wordplay is on full display in lyrics like: "We're out of cokes, clean out of smokes, it's not funny 'cos we run out of jokes."

"Rock Out," the album's best track, comes blasting out of your speakers with the kind of bass guitar intro Lemmy pioneered on classics like "Iron Fist" and "Ace of Spades." It's an ode to the power and glory of rock 'n' roll — and the humor of it too, as Lemmy suggests a hilariously vulgar way to "impress your lady friends."

In concert, Lemmy often refers to Mikkey Dee as "the best drummer in the world." That may be an exaggeration, but (sorry Philthy) he's definitely the best drummer for Motorhead. He proves it on "When The Eagle Screams," with fills that perfectly complement Campbell's driving guitar riff and Lemmy's lyrics about why men go to fight and die in wars.

Campbell's in fine form throughout, with the Chuck Berry-ish "English Rose" offering him a chance to boogie with the best of them. The song also features his best solo in an album full of good ones. Campbell also does some wicked slide work on the disc's closer, "The Thousand Names Of God."

The album's weakest track is "Heroes," a slow song that covers the same topical ground as "When the Eagle Screams," but suffers from uncharacteristically bad lyrics. There are also a couple of filler tracks ("Time Is Right" and "Buried Alive") that are merely OK.

Still, "Motorizer" continues the band's late-career creative burst that began with 2004's "Inferno" and continued with 2006's "Kiss of Death."

Here's hoping Lemmy keeps rocking this hard right on into his 70s and 80s.

Highs: Phil Campbell's superb riff on the album's opener "Runaround Man" and the all-around great "Rock Out."

Lows: The slow "Heroes."

Bottom line: Motorhead's late career peak continues.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)