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Motörhead

Kiss of Death

Review by Gary Hill

When you put on a new Motorhead album you always have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Throughout the group's long history their sound has not changed much. I'd look at it almost like episodic television. You turn on a new episode of your favorite show. Are the main characters going to be changed? No. Will there be some new concept to the show that you've never seen before? No. Will it be a new story with twists and turns that keep you entertained? Yes. Such is the case with Motorhead. The mold is never broken, but a new hot slab of Motorheadbanging music is better than a lot of things. The truth is, some of this album is better than most Motorhead discs. I'd have to say that this is the best new release I've heard from them in quite some time. I suppose I should mention that I've truly followed them for a long time coming to the band through my interest in Hawkwind. I've been listening to these guys steadily since Ace of Spades, but I haven't gotten every single release. I'd definitely put this one amongst the few best Motorhead discs. Not every song is awesome, but enough of them are to consider it a killer. This one does stretch the Motorhead song further than most of their albums do.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sucker
They waste no time getting it going here with a distorted guitar feedback giving way to what might be the most frantic rager that Motorhead has done in years. This one really feels like something that might have come from Ace of Spades or Iron Fist. The guitar solo on this one is a noisy screamer, but it's also a short one.
One Night Stand
Another slab of killer Motorhead groove, there's no real surprises here, just a killer grind that is such a trademark of this band. The guitar solo on this one is longer, but a bit more classic rock and roll in texture. Still the frantic grind that serves to back it up is a nice chunky riff.
Devil I Know
This one has a really mean sound and some nice slashing riffs. I like this one a lot, it's got a bit of a punky texture to it, but it's incredibly meaty. This is not groundbreaking, but still one of the coolest cuts I've heard from the band in a while. I particularly like the bass solo section and the smoking guitar solo that follows it.
Trigger
Wow, this is one heck of a scorcher. It's another that really harkens back to the older version of this band. This one is very meaty and fast paced. It's another highpoint of a disc that's quickly showing up to be full of them. The guitar lays down some killer melodic lines at points on this one. This one gets as heavy at points as anything the band has ever done.
Under the Gun
The most standard Motorhead cut so far, this one is good and solid, but just not a standout. The guitar solo segments are the exception there, as they purely smoke.
God Was Never On Your Side
This one comes in as the standard Motorhead acoustic guitar based ballad. If you've heard one of these anthemic numbers you've pretty much heard them all. The thing is, they always work really well. Lemmy doesn't have the kind of voice you'd expect to be able to pull off this style of cut, but for some reason they never fail to satisfy.
Living in the Past
"Living in the Past" bursts out of the gate incredibly heavy. It's a smoking grind that works really well. While it's not something we haven't heard before it's definitely turbocharged and exceptionally powerful. This one is one of my favorite Motorhead songs ever, and that's only after hearing it a few times. It is near perfection.
Christine
This one has that strong rock and roll approach that Motorhead has always been good at doing. Again, it's nothing new, but when it's this good, who cares?
Sword of Glory
I don't think I've ever really heard another Motorhead song that sounds quite like this one. It's quite fast and crunchy, but yet still melodic in a way. While there's a touch of that stripped down rock and roll flavor it's also covered in a full metal jacket. It's one that takes a while to grow on you, but it's quite cool. The closing grind is pretty cool.
Be My Baby
This one comes in super heavy with just a bit of a nu-metal feel to it. Don't get me wrong, this is all Motorhead, but it has a bit of that modern sound to the main riff. The melodic guitar solo is a nice touch.
Kingdom of the Worm
Another ultra-heavy jam kicks this one off. It's one more that stretches the Motorhead sound a bit. This is gritty and mean.
Going Down
More frantic trademark Motorhead, we've heard this one before - at least in a variant, but who cares because it rocks.
Ramones
This one is literally a track Motorhead have released before. Still it's a killer tribute to the Ramones and always one worth another visit.
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