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HARDWARES

MOTÖRHEAD

Aftershock

(UDR)

Reviewed by : Aaron Small
Rating : 9.5

Although Aftershock is defined as a small tremor that follows a major earthquake, there’s nothing diminutive about MOTÖRHEAD’s 21st studio album. Recorded at NRG Studios in North Hollywood, California, Aftershock will easily flatten buildings, topple trees and put an ear to ear grin on the faces of fans worldwide. Certainly the most vibrant and varied musical platter from vocalist/bassist Lemmy Kilmister, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee in quite some time, Aftershock also has the most songs on offer with 14, since the definitive Ace Of Spades way back in 1980, which contained 15 tracks. Album opener and first video ‘Heartbreaker’ kicks things off damn near perfectly in gruff and aggressive fashion; an instant classic. ‘Coup De Grace’ delivers a death blow, then ‘Lost Woman Blues’ lives up to its title, slowing things down to a sultry, seductive pace with great storytelling about Lem’s need to “buy some highway shoes.” ‘End Of Time’ has the amps cranked to 11, then the boogie-woogie ‘Do You Believe’ shakes things up as our God – that would be Lemmy for the uninitiated – proclaims, “Don’t know what I did last night, but I sure did it good!” ‘Death Machine’ is the shortest song on Aftershock at a mere 2:38, but locks into an absolutely killer groove. Once again, ‘Dust And Glass’ drops the tempo to an almost melancholy state.

And we’re only mid-way through! The back half of Aftershock is just as strong as the front, beginning with current favourite ‘Going To Mexico’, a song that sees Phil Campbell playing as though he were “Fast” Eddie Clarke. ‘Silence When You Speak To Me’ is the longest track at 4:30, and possesses a commanding chorus. ‘Crying Shame’ is unbridled rock n’ roll with added piano, followed by ‘Queen Of The Damned’ – this hellraiser has the catchiest intro that will have concert audiences screaming wildly with immediate recognition. It’s the perfect amalgamation of old-school and modern Motörhead, evoking excitement and sending adrenaline levels through the roof! The simply titled ‘Knife’ is a straight-ahead number that gets the job done, no questions asked. ‘Keep Your Powder Dry’ has an almost jam-session feel about it, loosely structured but nicely built. The grand finale comes in the form of ‘Paralyzed’, a speed-driven number that has the song’s protagonist “searching for a fortune, searching for a clue.” Not to be understated is Mikkey Dee’s superb performance behind the kit throughout this phenomenal album, hitting those skins with all his might, and when required simply keeping the beat. Aftershock is a tremendous achievement; even more so when you consider that come Christmas Eve, Lemmy will be 68 years old. Talk about an inspiration to us all.




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