CD Review: Motörhead / The Wörld is Yours
Reviewed by: Ryan Labbe
“Who would win in a fight, Lemmy or God?”
“Wrong! Trick question, Lemmy is God!”
-From the movie Airheads
“Rock n’ roll music is a true religion,” sings Lemmy Kilmister on “Rock n’ Roll Music, a track off Motörhead’s latest album, The Wörld is Yours. Well, if rock n’ roll is your religion, then Lemmy is a God. It’s hard to remember a time without Motörhead. As a highly influential part of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) in the seventies, Lemmy and company have influenced countless other bands, and stayed true to themselves throughout the many reinventions of rock n’ roll over the years.
Unlike many bands that have had to alter their sound in order to stay relevant over the decades, Motörhead has not. Motörhead is Motörhead, no gimmicks, no frills. On their latest album, The Wörld is Yours, Lemmy (bass/vocals), Phil Campbell (guitar), and Mikkey Dee (drums), aren’t out to reinvent themselves, only to cement Motörhead’s legacy as one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time.
The album opens with “Born to Lose,” a killer track with a ferocious guitar riff and terrific bass-drum work. Lemmy’s voice is as gravely as ever, and the band is tight and flawless. The background rhythm during the guitar solo is daunting, and is the highlight of the song. Plus, it’s so nice to hear a wild guitar solo in 2011.
Another highlight is “I Know How to Die,” an ironic title given Lemmy has been described by some as “immortal.” “Say the word and I’ll be yours, save me from the killing floor,” Lemmy sings on the opening verse. This is a track that deserves repeated listens and would translate beautiful to a live concert setting. “I know the law, I know how to die,” sings Lemmy at the end of the chorus. The chord progression at the end is a bit unexpected and works amazingly.
“Brotherhood of Man” is another standout track. It has an intense, rumbling Orgasmatron-feel, and Lemmy’s voice borders on a low growl. This track could have easily been written 25 years ago. Lyrically, it paints a bleak picture of humanity, as Lemmy sings, “Blood on all our hands we cannot hope to wash them clean/History is mystery do you know what it means?/Slaughter, kill and fighting still and murdered where we stand/Our legacy is lunacy, brotherhood of man.”
“Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye,” the album’s closer, is a blues-on-speed song of love gone badly and the payback. It’s a high energy closer with stinging lyrics, loud guitars, and yet another tasty guitar solo.
Motörhead is a band that knows their strengths and plays to them very well. Why fix it if it isn’t broken? That being said, this album still has a few surprises here and there to keep listeners on their toes. The Wörld is Yours is10 songs full of powerful, gimmick-free rock n’ roll, and in 2011, we as rock n’ roll fans need that.