Motörizer by Motörhead
Release date : August 2008
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
In the hearts of Metal fanatics throughout the globe, Motörhead, alongside AC/DC, has comprised the Rock 'N' Roll standard for the last three decades. Never sufficiently known to reinvent the wheel, the group are nonetheless beloved for their passion, and religious commitment towards Rock 'N' Roll. Whether it be amongst Hard Rock lovers, or lovers of all things extreme, Motörhead are deemed icons. Should you be in need of material to cause you to move, then Motörhead is your ace in the hole. In countless respects, which Motörhead full length you happen to own, or if you own multiple Motörhead records, is irrelevant. Occasional tempo variations aside, all Motörhead albums are musically identical in most respects. Supplying an unadulterated glimpse at the working class, those releases never fail to bring you back down to earth. Motörhead are the type of group which your neighbour performs as part of at the pub every Friday evening, but happen to be more successful.
During late May 2008, the title of Motörhead's ninteenth official studio full length was announced as Motörizer. As was the case with both 2006's Kiss of Death and 2004's Inferno, Cameron Webb undertook production duties. Mikkey Dee's drum parts were laid down at Foo Fighters mainman / erstwhile Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl's Studio 606, situated in Northridge, California. By early June, it was revealed that recording sessions had concluded. Several days later, a late August North American / German release date (26th and the 29th respectively) was pencilled in. Meanwhile, its issue within the rest of Europe was scheduled for September 1st. A limited digipack edition, as well as a gatefold LP edition with printed inner sleeves, was also planned for release.
Designed by Mark De Vito, Motörizer's album artwork was revealed on June 11th. Both England's and Sweden's coat of arms feature, representing vocalist Lemmy and drummer Dee respectively. Additionally, the artwork sports the flag of guitarist Phil Campbell's native Wales, and an image of group mascot Snaggletooth. On June 13th at Donington Park in Leicestershire, UK, Motörhead performed upon Download's Main Stage.
The album's track listing surfaced in late June, and limited edition Motörhead prints were made available for purchase. Lifted from a photo session with the group, conducted by Robert John, the photograph was selected to feature upon Motörizer. Numbered out of a hundred, all were signed by the group's three members, as well as John. Individually created to order, all were printed upon Supreme Luster Paper, and eleven inches by seventeen inches. In mid July, a short audio sample of a new Motörhead track was made available for streaming via SPV Records' official website. By late July, audio samples of all eleven Motörizer tracks were streamed via the same website, and a widget surfaced during early August.
To plug the album, Lemmy was interviewed upon several radio shows. These included weekly BBC 6 Music radio show The Bruce Dickinson Friday Rock Show on July 11th, Sunshine Radio's The Rock Show on August 3rd between six and nine p.m. UK time, and Indie 103.1 FM's specialty metal program Chaos with Full Metal Jackie at ten p.m. Pacific Standard Time on the very same day. From the 18th, lead track “Rock Out” was heard on all World Wrestling Entertainment programming leading up to the franchise's September pay-per-view event Unforgiven, which had adopted the song as its official theme music.
When assessing Motörhead full lengths, those albums usually fall under one of two categories. Whilst a constant speed defines such records as 1986's Orgasmatron and 1980's Ace of Spades, a slender dynamism characterises the likes of 1983's Another Perfect Day and 1987's Rock 'N' Roll. Of the two categories, Motörizer lies amongst the latter. Greatly executed at a moderate pace, Motörizer boasts an underlying bluesy swagger. Critiqued against fellow albums which figure amongst the group's prolific catalogue, those two aforementioned qualities lend a slight individualism. Additionally, diversity plays a vital role in this endeavour.
Given the fact that Motörizer's compositions seamlessly blend together, it's difficult to select prime cuts, and much the same can be said regarding any Motörhead full length. Interestingly enough, should a lesser act adopt this songwriting approach, it would signal their death knell. A genuine highlight, the Joan Jett-esque blue collar anthem “Teach You How to Sing the Blues” exhibits Lemmy's pontifications upon such beer-raising concepts as; only being able to secure the affections of a girl via the use of Mastercard, and that the group's members will issue you a beating without help from others. Asking you, the listener, to “rock out with your cock out”, “Rock Out” splendidly compliments the number. Lemmy, in all likelihood, is the only vocalist who can mouth those lyrics, and not suffer mockery from a million critics and music fans. Sung with conviction, it's actually feasible to believe that Lemmy rocks out with his cock out so to speak. That, my friends, is Rock 'N' Roll in its most truthful form. A heavy-handed, bluesy introduction inaugurates “English Rose”, whereas a Rock 'N' Roll singalong continually recurs throughout the song's duration. An additional highlight, the track is even of a slightly differing nature when compared to fellow Motörhead numbers.
In the vein of each Motörhead full length, the music you hear is the music actually available for listening. Mirroring the group's image, Motörhead's sound commands respect. The outfit's back catalogue sales might pale in comparison to that of AC/DC's, though a slot upon the August 2008 Metal Masters North American tour package alongside Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, and Testament irrefutably shows that Motörhead are equally respected amongst a variety of music admirers. One of a kind, Motörhead's winning streak continues with Motörizer, an album in which the group doesn't stray very far from the material they love to write. Should you be in search of a decent full length which can be rocked out to, then Motörizer is that full length.