Archives For nwobhm

“This is a Very Good Album. Put it in your system and your girlfriend’s clothes fall off.” – Lemmy’s thank yous from the Sacrifice album jacket

The music video for Sacrifice’s title track features a demonic-looking Lemmy with bulging red eyes, generally having the time of his life

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Motorhead – Bastards (1993)

The magnificent bastards of Motorhead carry on their underrated, prolific 90s output with this 1993 statement of metal attitude.

Fans may already know the general approach to Motorhead’s post-80s work: more polished production, cleaner vocals, and generally a more rock-oriented flavor. Indeed, there are just as many arena-sized power chord progressions (“I Am the Sword”) as there are thrashtastic chugging sections (“Burner,” the fastest song on this album). Anti-media opening basher “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees” has a message that we all need to hear now more than ever.

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ot only are we at the 100th anniversary of 1916 the year, we are also at the 25th anniversary of 1916 the record.

Now a fearsome foursome with the addition of Wurzel on Guitar 2, Motorhead kicked off the 90s chapter of Motorhistory with this album. An avid historian and collector of war paraphernalia, Lemmy Kilmister was undoubtedly aware of the year 1991’s significance: it was the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, still the bloodiest single day in British Army history with 60,000 casualties. What a price to pay for 6 miles of German territory. A horrific day of sorrow and exhaustion.

So it’s fitting that the title track here may be the best-known song from this Motorhead outing. Yes, in “1916” Lemmy actually sings! Mournful organ and cello with a light martial drum make this ballad a moving tribute to the men of the First World War. Though many metal bands choose to explore the horrors of war by trying to match the battlefields din and aggression with their instruments, Lemmy’s spare poetics are perfect and deserve a hearing as nations reflect a century later. An unusual song for Motorhead, but they really knocked it out of the park.

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When being asked to choose between rock and roll and sex, Lemmy Kilmister had no trouble calling it as he saw it (I’m paraphrasing): “Well, the average show lasts about two hours, coitus could be half an hour tops…so to me it’s pretty obvious which is better, you know?” Punctuate with long puffs of cigarette smoke and long pulls at a Jack and Coke for greater effect.

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It was a wedding day whirlwind of activity. My friend Joe needed a song for the ride over to the church that would not only de-stress his bride-to-be, but also one that would psych him up for the most important day of his life. He tosses his iPod over to his best man (who is driving), points at him with a no-nonsense expression and says, “‘Back At the Funny Farm.’ Now. Go.”

[Insert joke here about how being married is like being at the funny farm here].

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It was a frigid, gray morning as I drove down a long, empty stretch of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Idle snowflakes fell down around my car as I settled into the home stretch of the drive to Boston. I needed some noise to power me through the last leg.

Looking down at the shotgun seat next to me, I caught sight of Lemmy Kilmister and his two bandmates standing in a desert landscape, bedecked in a combination of black leather and old West cowboy gear. Why not?

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The finest heavy metal record of 1979 opens with the song that many of us Motorheadbangers know as the ultimate live show closer: “Overkill.” A metal classic for the ages, the song “ends” three times, with that screaming, high-bending lead guitar, which is such a key part of its concert appeal. We fans are delightfully attuned to it, some of us having had the pleasure of hearing it for decades.

But imagine what it must have been like to first hear it in 1979: the most popular airplay was all about New Wave, punk rock, and The Wall. Then seemingly out of the black comes this Northern English trio with a wild Snaggletooth for a mascot, with a frontman who’s not quite singing but not quite growling either. Who could have imagined that, like the Snaggletooth charging out of the album cover, that this band would continue on for over 36 years, bulling over everything in its path, and serving as a respected inspiration by every genre from punk rock to death metal to thrash metal to alternative rock?

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“Look, if I see things as being f*cked, I’m gonna tell you they’re f*cked. I can’t sit there any say, ‘Oh, everything’s nice because I’ve got a new Porsche.” – Lemmy

1986 was such a landmark year for metal already that a new Motorhead album must have seemed like extra icing on a dense, heavy cake. But at the time, it was the first studio effort from Lemmy and friends in three years–a long time for them!

Assuming they spent all that time just drinking and writing, the effort really shows: the songs on Orgasmatron are some of the band’s finest…and angriest.

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