Much like the ever present Lemmy, Motorhead are a band that will seemingly never die. Having created the DNA for blending punk and thrash metal together, they have since spent decades honing their craft and laying waste to all that stand in their way. While they may have had to cancel their recent UK tour due to Lemmy’s health, the release of Aftershock, their 21st album, proves that they are not going anywhere soon.
With enough galloping riffs to make even Iron Maiden blush this is exactly what it says on the tin, a Motorhead album. Lemmy is in fine form, or as fine a form as you can be when you’ve never actually been able to sing. While Phil Campbell continues to show that even when you are sticking to that rigid Motorhead formula, you can still write some of the best riffs around. Whether it be the thunderous “Death Machine” or the “Ace of Spades” like “Going to Mexico” Campbell and Motorhead still have the ability to make you want to fuck shit up.
Saying that however, it’s in the quieter moments that this album surprises. “Lost Women Blues” is, unsurprisingly, a bluesy number that shows that Lemmys natural gruff vocals maybe should have made the step over to that world a long time ago. It also allows Campbell to let the blues out in his playing and as they let go a bit at the end it turns into a great little blues rocker. While if you’ve ever wanted to hear what Motorhead sound like stripped back I imagine “Dust and Glass” is about as close as you are going to get, as they once again let the blues shine through.
Motorhead are still doing what they’ve always done, playing heavy metal with a punk rock attitude and having the time of their lives. As Lemmy sings on “Do You Believe” “don’t know what I did last night, but I’m sure I did it good” you can’t help but smile and raise a glass to the old bastard. He’s one of the best and I’m willing to bet money he’ll be around doing this for a while yet, and we can all be glad about that.