By Andrew Bansal
Even amidst growing concerns surrounding frontman Lemmy’s deteriorating health, rock ‘n roll godfathers Motörhead refuse to slow down and are celebrating their 40th anniversary this summer with a US headline tour and their 22nd full-length studio album ‘Bad Magic’, released on August 28th via UDR Music. The previous album ‘Aftershock’ (2013) presented some quintessential Motörhead compositions, and despite the recent troubles Motörhead has faced as a live band being forced to cancel and curtail performances, the consistency of their studio material has always been one of their major strengths, and normally, a new Motörhead album would be expected to deliver the goods in a manner as strong as ever. This time the expectations have been lower, but fans would find it to be a pleasant surprise.
The 13-track, 43-minute record features 12 brand new original tunes and a cover. There is a delightfully hefty dosage of fast(ish) paced tracks on here, such as the opening numbers ‘Victory Or Die’ and ‘Thunder And Lightning’, the double kick drum centric ‘Shoot Out All Of Your Lights’, and tunes like ‘Electricity’, ‘Evil Eye’ and ‘Teach Them How To Bleed’. The rest of the album does not drop the pace that much, consisting mostly of mid-tempo offerings such as ‘The Devil’ which boasts of a Brian May guitar solo, no less. The ballad ‘Till The End’ brings forth Lemmy’s singing abilities even at this age, and given his current situation, the lyrical content of this song hits extremely hard. ‘Bad Magic’ comes to an end with Motörhead treating listeners to a very enjoyable rendition of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’.
The individual and collective musicianship of the longstanding triumvirate of Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee is well-represented on ‘Bad Magic’, and the standout quality is the effortless brilliance of Campbell’s guitar work through all the riffs and solos that decorate and enhance every single track. Cameron Webb’s production sonically captures the best of Motörhead 2015. ‘Shoot Out All Of Your Lights’ and ‘Till The End’ are the strongest items on it, but as an album ‘Bad Magic’ has an unmistakable flow to it, typical of any classic Motörhead album. It makes the listener feel even more surprised that none of these tunes are included in the set list for the band’s ongoing tour, because it not only has the potential to improve the set musically but also to lend a greater sense of purpose to the tour itself.
Motörhead fans need to be educated and informed about ‘Bad Magic’, because it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that purchasing a copy of the album and listening to it at full blast using headphones in the comfort of one’s home is, at this point, as worthwhile as a concert ticket, if not more.
Record Label: UDR Music
Release Date: August 28th 2015
01. Victory Or Die
02. Thunder & Lightning
03. Fire Storm Hotel
04. Shoot Out All Of Your Lights
05. The Devil
07. Evil Eye
08. Teach Them How To Bleed
09. Till The End
10. Tell Me Who To Kill
11. Choking On Your Screams
12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You
13. Sympathy For The Devil (Rolling Stones cover)