Motorhead: We Are Motorhead / The Best Of

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By Erik Gamlem

You can’t depend on justice, you can’t depend on your woman, and you can’t depend on that beat piece of shit you call a car but you can depend on rock and roll. The rock will always be there, breathing fire, drinking whisky and driving hot rods. As long as there are methamphetamines and cocaine there will be rock and roll and as long as Lemmy Kilmister can stand up and breath their will be Motorhead.

It has been 25 years since this gasoline fueled stomping machine of limited talent but lots of guts a glory took the world in it’s fists and beat it relentlessly. The Best Of collection celebrates this god forsaken occasion and proves that though Motorhead may never have been all that good, they sure as hell rocked like they were the best damn band to walk the planet. The compilation starts out with their swan song “Ace of Spades” and declines from there, peaking from time to time. However it isn’t a smooth sailing ride to the depths of metal hell. Along the way down you are bound to collect a massive amount of head injuries on such tear jerking tracks as “Dead Men Tell No Lies”, “Orgasmatron”, and “White Line Fever”. The live version of “Bite the Bullet/The Chase Is Better Then the Catch” is appropriately bad, the covers of “Louie, Louie” and “God Save the Queen” are down right sickening. However, the appeal of Motorhead is by no means captured by showmanship or craft. The truth is with a little skill and a whole hell of a lot of attitude, backed with just the right amount of wattage, Motorhead is considered one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. It goes to show that in some arenas presentation can go a long way.

If you think that after 25 years there is no way that Kilmister and Co. could maintain any level of rock jam savvy then you are surely mistaken. In fact We Are Motorhead shows that along the way Motorhead may have learned just how to look like they were rocking hard and actually rock hard. This shinning new full length, while by no means classic definitely shows a lot of gusto after so many weathered years.

The album starts off with “See Me Burning”, which could be perhaps the most aggressive songs that the band has ever done. A misogynistic love song, “See Me Burning” uses heavy metal riff action, streamline guitar solos and the gasoline voice of Kilmister to assault the word in just under three minutes. By albums end you it is understood why they would close out with a song called “We Are Motorhead”. With pride Kilmister proclaims victory in singing “We are Motorhead / Born to kick your ass”.

Some tracks are awkward (Slow Dance) and some are funny (another Motorhead attempt at a rock ballad appropriately titled “One More Fucking Time”) but over all this album holds up. It is with out question more intense, if not slightly more interesting then anything that radio has called rock for a long time and easily stands up to the test of Motorhead rock of past. Any metal fan of the great rock out pose will appreciate this effort and gladly stack it up against the magnificent history of longhaired cock rock.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/motorhead-best/