Steamhammer, 2008

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I have found the worst description anyone can give an album by heavy rock stalwarts Motörhead: average.

For well over 30 years, Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and a (slowly) revolving cast of musicians, the latest iteration of which has been working as a trio since 1995, have carried the standard of their own unique brand of rock music, and while some critics have argued they continue to make the same album year after year, somehow Motörhead has managed to keep things sounding fresh and interesting.

This can't necessarily be said for my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Motorizer, their 2008 effort. One can't say it's a bad album, but one can say it is boring in comparison to other discs they've put out, even in the past 10 to 15 years. In short, it's average – and that's the greatest disappointment of all.

Don't get me wrong – I love Motörhead, and have been following the band since I became aware of them in the mid-'80s. But even when delivering music at their own version of breakneck speed, Motörhead sound tired on this one, even from the opening track “Runaround Man.” Of note, Lemmy's vocals just don't sound like he's got his whole heart behind this particular effort. Gone are the scratchy high-pitched drones one may remember from earlier albums; this album is delivered with an almost lackadaisical sneer, as if he's pulling a fast one on the listener.

The problem is, he's not. Tracks like “When The Eagle Screams,” “One Short Life” and “English Rose” all suffer from the same fate – that is, they're just not interesting to listen to more than once. If anything, Motorizer sounds like a disc made up completely of songs which weren't good enough to make it onto earlier Motörhead albums, and this one just so happens to collect all of them together.

The one single, “Rock Out,” is the sole bright spot on the disc – and, naturally, it clocks in at just over two minutes, making it the shortest song on the disc as well. C'est la vie.

This isn't to say that the musical performances are bad by any means. Mikkey Dee continues to show that he kicked new life into this band through his drum work, and Phil Campbell remains an underappreciated guitar legend.

Yes, Motörhead is still worth one's attention, even after all these years. But it's sad when a band you have always relied on to produce great material throws a dud out there. In terms of material, Motorizer features a band stuck in neutral.

Rating: C-

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