Motörhead – “Bad Magic” (UDR GmbH)
Absolutely bad ass! 40 years, and an amazing 22 albums on and we have ‘Bad Magic’, easily one of Motörhead’s freshest and most energetic albums to date!! With Lemmy’s flagging health leaving many to wonder if this god rocker is reaching his twilight, the lucky blighter then plucks up and displays his mojo to deliver this 13 track monster. Opening with the fierce ‘Victory Or Die’, the f–k off attitude, along with the raw punk rock n roll that reminds me lot of “Everything Louder Than Everything Else” is there in bunches. It’s followed by the even more faster ‘Thunder & Lightning’ which takes me right back to the days of “Iron Fist”, with Wizzo Campbell’s guitar really coming into its own as it wildly screams n carears about just like Fast Eddie used to. With Mikkey Dee’s power drumming going into overdrive on the intensely warbling ‘Shoot Out All Your Lights’ amidst Lemmy’s own shredding bass-played-like-a-rhythm this is one of those tracks that is so inherently loud you don’t need to turn it up cos its in the grooves – well, this is Motörhead innit? With ‘The Devil’ going into slower tank crushing mode, Queen’s Brian May offers a scintillating solo to match the thunderous beat in cementing the Kilmister/Campbell/Dee era. With the rattlesnake rock n roll coming across the in the hugely catchy ‘Electricity’, Campbell’s wild, snakebite solo injects the venom in culmination of making this the official video track. If that’s the first half of the album, then the second half is even better – mixing punk with rattlesnake and a slightly futuristic feel on ‘Evil Eye’ where Lemmy’s bass is so prominent its groove is simply too much to resist. The mix on the album is one of the best I’ve ever heard so kudos to long-time producer Cameron Webb, who’s allowed every instrument to be so coherent with its own natural sound, yet come together magically in making this classic power trio. Although seen as one dimensional vocally, Lemmy has really pushed himself big time, offering a clean n tender (!) style on the ballad ‘Till The End’ and a darker rasping take on the malevolent ‘Choking On Your Screams’. Although not quite outdoing The Rolling Stones on their cover of ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, it comes respectably close with Lemmy’s muted vocals giving it the demon feel amidst Dee’s tambla style drumming with Campbell once again taking things to a new high with his funky breaks and far out soloing – and yes, they do offer the hippy trippy harmonies! I don’t normally do track by track reviews but it was too much to resist on “Bad Magic”, whose power was so compelling that I’ve gotta see it live on the 40th Anniversary European Winter tour as Motörhead once again tell the world to sod off!!!!