Rock & Roll Icons Motörhead Return With 22nd Studio Album ‘Bad Magic’
It’s rare for a band that releases such ear-ringing music to become a household name even amongst those who consider the Beatles to be a bit too rocky for their taste. Their no nonsense approach has resulted in a career that has lasted 40 years, and Lemmy has himself become an instantly recognisable figure and synonymous with the rebellious spirit rock music is known for.
It has been a difficult time for the power trio in recent years. The years appear to be catching up with Lemmy, and there are been several cancellations of gigs as a result, although things appear to have stabilised for now. There have been those who suggest that the group should call it a day, saying that they’re starting to lose their edge. ‘Bad Magic’ is a big middle finger to those people. It’s pure, simple, visceral and a reminder that age is no barrier to shaking the rafters with rock and roll mayhem.
The production is great. All too often in the modern music world, drums lose a lot of their punch as a result of production. Here the drums maintain their power and contribute fully to the racket that is Motörhead. Lemmy sounds stronger and clearer than on ‘Aftershock’ too.
The opening track “Victory or Die” may be the best opener to a Motörhead album that I’ve heard in a long time. And the quality doesn’t dip from here. The riff in “Shoot out all Your Lights” is an instant earworm. The single “Electricity” has a great music video but is also, to me at least, comparable to their older classics like “Overkill”, “Killed by Death” and even “Ace of Spades” in quality. “Till the End” is a more melodic song with some quite touching lyrics, something that long-time fans of the band will love. A cover of the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy for the Devil” rounds off ‘Bad Magic’, a calmer ending to such a hectic album.
This is Motörhead's best and most dynamic sounding album in a while. They are, as always, showing up people half their age when it comes to energy and spirit.
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Words by Adam Dernie