Motörhead – Bad Magic
Review: Debbie Carr
It’s been 40 years since hard-hitting English rockers Motörhead first burst onto the scene, and they haven’t looked back since then, releasing 21 albums of high energy, high impact and entirely kickass rock and roll. 2015 sees the release of their next album, Bad Magic, and whilst it lacks some of the punch of previous efforts, it still hold its own with a series of boisterous, turbocharged tracks. If nothing else, Bad Magic shows that the band have no intentions of slowing down, an impressive feat considering vocalist Lemmy Kilmister turns 70 later this year.
Bad Magic kicks off with a bang, with the first half of the album being its strongest. From the raspy wailing of Kilmister in “Victory or Die” to the thriving, rapid riffs of “Thunder & Lightening”, its two opening tracks pull off the difficult feat of sounding fresh and engaging without straying from the band’s tried and tested formula. “Shoot Out All of Your Lights” follows by highlighting Mikkey Dee’s impeccably tight drumming, coupled with a rousing call and response of “fight! FIGHT!”
Half way through the release we’re hit with “Electricity”, a lean, free-wheeling slice of punk, reminiscent of the band’s 2004 release Inferno. The clouded vocals of Kilmister projecting “you need a bolt of rock/ severe toxic shock/ electricity deep in your soul” ring true of Motörhead’s heavy-hitting, core-splitting rock philosophy.
The band also find themselves experimenting on track nine, “Till The End”, which pursues an entirely different sound to the rest of the album. The four minute power ballad is the breather of the set, yet no momentum is lost as the melodic number maintains its vitality with thrilling guitar work by Phil Campbell.
The remaining songs are relatively standard, however “The Devil” and “Choking On Your Screams” add some nice variety by employing a much heavier tone than their counterparts.
Perhaps the strangest track of the album is the last one, an odd and somewhat unnecessary cover of The Rolling Stones’ 1969 hit “Sympathy For The Devil”. Although it’s an interesting take on the song, it feels like a jarring ending for an album which otherwise celebrates four decades of originality.
For better or for worse, Bad Magic is everything that fans have come to expect from Motörhead over the years. With venom running through their veins and electricity ingrained in their performances, the album serves as a typical representation of the Motörhead that many know and love. Plain and simple, Bad Magic’s full-bodied sound will strike a chord with die-hard fans, but ultimately gets lost in the band’s vast 40-year discography.
Buy Bad Magic here