By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal
Today, April 9th 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of Motörhead’s sixteenth studio album “Hammered”. This was their follow-up to the fairly successful “We Are Motörhead”. Even though they’ve had numerous lineup changes in the past, Motörhead became a well-settled entity in the late nineties as the trio of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee solidified itself as the 11th Motörhead lineup, and it quickly became apparent that this would be the lineup going forward. This was the fourth album released by the lineup, an album that saw limited success in terms of chart positions and sales, but despite that, it proved to be yet another tasteful offering for the rock ‘n roll purists to savor.
One thing that’s markedly different in this album when compared to albums released before it, is the average length of the songs. Running for a total duration of just under 46 minutes, these 11 tracks are much longer than what Motörhead delivered in their early days, on classic albums such as Ace Of Spades (15 tracks for 45 minutes) and Iron Fist (17 tracks for 49 minutes), but that has only meant a relatively larger dose of rock ‘n roll in each track, and I’ve certainly never complained about it because there is no such thing as too much Motörhead. Right from the delightful opening tune “Walk A Crooked Mile” to the final moments, the album puts me in a comfort zone, the kind of comfort zone only a Motörhead album can.
As is evident from tunes like “Walk A Crooked Mile”, “Down The Line” and “Mine All Mine”, Phil Campbell’s guitar work is as good as ever. And if you need any proof of the fact that Lemmy’s voice gets better with age, all you need to do is listen to this album. Lemmy and Campbell are excellently backed up once again by Mikkey Dee on the drums, as he shows his class on faster tunes like “Brave New World” and “Red Raw”. All in all, while Motörhead showcase a deeper and smoother style of rock ‘n roll in this album, there is plenty in it that’s reminiscent of old-school Motörhead. The cover artwork also represents the music quite perfectly, and if I had the means and the access to buy this album back when it was originally released, I would have picked it up for the sheer awesomeness of the cover alone.
Even though other styles of metal like metalcore were fast becoming a trend in the early 2000s, “Hammered” is a classic example of Motörhead’s forever carefree attitude, their motto of sticking to their guns no matter what’s going on around them. As Lemmy always says on stage just before Motörhead play the final song of their set, “Don’t forget us. We are Motörhead, and we play rock ‘n roll!” He stays true to his words on every album, and I’ll be forever grateful to him for that. So, a happy 10th birthday to “Hammered”, and here’s to another 10,000 years! \m/