You have to hand it to Lemmy Kilmister, he’s transcended heavy metal legend and has firmly cemented himself as a pop culture icon all on the merits of just being himself. That’s pretty incredible. You can cry “sellout” all you want (Fast Eddie Clarke did and look where he is now. Actually, seriously, where is he now? ) but it is what it is, the facts are the facts.
Motörhead is now 24 albums into its career. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that they’re about 14 albums past their prime as a music-making unit, but to even have a string of 9 or 10 consistently great albums is an achievement not to be underestimated. How many bands nowadays record one [i]good song[/] let alone and album before they disappear into obscurity? Motörhead is fully ensconced into their “classic rock” period and aiming to cash in. I don’t blame them, the Lemmy gravy train won’t last forever. If ever a band paid it’s dues many times over, it’s Motörhead.
The best thing about Motörhead recordings nowadays are the lyrics. Lemmy has a way with The Word that can only come from his unique life experience – it’s got the sense of humor of a guy who’s seen it all, but the philosophy that Lemmy has adopted over the course of the years tends to creep in, even when he’s fucking around. Listen carefully and Lemmy will tell you a bit about that in “One Short Life”. Simple folk wisdom on how to live a life – don’t fuck with unless being fucked with, never compromise your integrity. Tough to argue with that.
Musically, Motorized is actually better than Inferno and a damn sight better than Hammered. The first six tracks are pretty solid chuggers, even considering that “Rock Out” is a little too close to “Ace Of Spades”. Tracks 7 – 11 aren’t necessarily bad, they just don’t have lasting power and seem like a brisk walk down Retread Road. One exception may be the epic (for Motörhead anyway) “Heroes”, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Lemmy’s war-oriented stuff.
All in all, not too bad for today’s Motörhead. Most of the songs move at a brisk pace, keeping the record moving along nicely – maybe one or two deletions would be in order (“English Rose” or “Back On The Chain”… actually, almost anything after track 6) for a good compact Heavy Metal listen. I think the biggest challenge with this record, as in most of Motörhead’s output past the Kilmister/Clarke/Taylor heyday, will be if Motorized makes it past the initial casual run-through and into the repeat listening category for most fans.
(review from hellride.com)