The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Motorizer Bob Mulhouse , August 20th, 2008 17:22

Bob Mulhouse has a decidedly different take on Motörhead’s new album


“Rock out, with your cock out / Embrace your lady friends / Rock out, with your cock out / ’Til your life comes to an end,” barks Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister on his twenty-fourth album, Motörizer. You may be amused, bored, disgusted or inspired by this pretty effective statement of raison d’être by the now 62-year-old singer, but you’ll be missing the point. You should be reassured.

Look at it like this. In recent years, every album which Motörhead – currently, and probably permanently, Lemmy plus guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee – have released has been hailed with an array of politely enthusiastic reviews. Check the internet for evidence: none of the reviewers have dared to suggest that new albums like Inferno and Hammered match up to ancient classics like Overkill or Bomber, but neither are they anything less than approving – the classic case of reviewers not wanting to say anything negative about a band who pretty much everybody likes, and who are approaching a certain age. However, the critics are wrong to do this.

Here’s the thing. Cynics often say that Motörhead have made the same album over and over again for years, and what’s more, they’re right. Yes, the band’s output sounded newer and fresher in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when heavy metal – as in proper, painfully heavy metal – was still in its infancy. But Motörhead aren’t really doing anything different now than they were then, and what’s more, we don’t want them to. Lemmy has at maximum five to 10 years left as a touring musician left in him, and we don’t want him to be trying too much new stuff at this stage in the game. I like ¬Motörizer a lot – ‘English Rose’ is a high point and will make a great single if their label SPV are looking for one – but it’s not significantly better or worse than 1992’s March Or Die, 1998’s Snake Bite Love, 2000’s We Are Motörhead, 2006’s Kiss Of Death, or any of the long line of records that Lemmy et al have made in the 25-year decline since their commercial peak.

Reviews which say that Motörizer is better than Motörhead’s last album, or worse than Motörhead’s last album, or depressing because it’s the same as Motörhead’s last album, are missing the point completely. Motörizer is basically the same as their last album, and it’ll be the same as their next album, too. This is A Good Thing. Don’t go changing, Lemmy – we need you to do exactly what you do, in exactly the way that you always do it, for as long as possible.