Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Shimmer? Or is it METALLI-HEAD?

MOTORHEAD - "Motorizer" CD '08 (SPV, Eng)
METALLICA – “Death Magnetic” CD ’08 (Warner Bros., US)
What the hell am I doing? Two reviews in one? It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! You got chocolate in my peanut butter! But hey, you know what, Charlie Horse? The M & M Boys just go together, don’t they? I mean, fer Crissakes, didn’t James & Lars get together in the first place because of their mutual love of Lemmy & Co.? Ok, I know Diamond Head played a role in that too, but we’re not going to split hairs over this shit, are we? The bottom line is, these 2 metal legends have just sent their new discs in for a landing on the Realm’s desk and, although they’ve taken quite different routes, they’ve both arrived with very comparable results held high in hand. Wait, isn’t that part of a Rush lyric? Anyway, let’s talk for a minute about MOTORHEAD. I was just reading Mr. Kilmister’s book, “White Line Fever” a few months ago and you know what really twists Lemmy’s lug nuts? When people say crap like, “MOTORHEAD, cool, dude, ‘Ace Of Spades!’” He’s like, “Yeah that was 27 years ago or whatever, where the hell have you been for our last umpteen albums?!” The man has a point. The Lemmy-Phil Campbell- Mikkey Dee line-up has been around longer than any other now, by far, and contrary to a lot of people’s paltry knowledge, has emitted a long, strong series of some of the band’s finest emissions, going by names like “Bastards,” “Inferno,” “1916,” etc. That is, of course, up until now. I say “up until now,” because I believe one could make a very strong case for “Motorizer” being THE best album the band has done, rather than simply “one of.” I know, I know, I’m making a Goddamned fool out of myself, you say, with a band like MOTORHEAD, how can you really say that one album is their best and, really, dude, how could it be better than “Ace Of Spades?!” Bite me. From the opening salvo of “Runaround Man,” through a pounding thrasher like “When The Eagle Screams” in all it’s 2:07 glory, to the gnarled blues of “One Short Life,” this is metal not forgetting it’s rock & roll & rock never forgetting it’s dangerous as hell. Truthfully, it’s as balanced a record as this band has ever made, all the way to the incising slide-laden “The Thousand Names Of God” and the massive production job just nails it. Yeah man, MOTORHEAD has stayed an even, consistent course over the last…damn!...20 years and their persistence has paid off this time in spades (sorry!) as “Motorizer” is a real sumbitch…even by the usual Lemmy-Phil-Mikkey standards.
And what of METALLICA? Well, let’s see…those Bay Area Boys! That’d be James, Lars and…Robert…yeah, he’s the bass player now. In fact, it was funny, after listening to the first song here, I had to stop for a minute and think: Ray, you’re getting old but what is that high-pitched instrument doing all that squawking and wah-ing and who plays that? Oh, that would be Kirk, apparently he’s back in the band now. Actually, know what? The truth is that after that first song, “That Was Just Your Life,” I was in no position to be thinking about anything other than trying to get the license number of that fucking truck that had just run over my head. Suddenly, I’m back in 1988 and METALLICA are full-grown men playing thrash metal and all’s right with the world. But, it’s a tease, we all know that, and the country twangs, the Seger cover’s and the angst-ridden horseshit is going to start…but then comes “The End Of The Line” and not only are METALLICA still a thrash band, but I’m noticing, as I’m shaking my damn head off my shoulders, that they’re back to using the “old” logo. Then comes “Broken, Beat & Scarred” and I am. Dang, the guitar solo in “Cyanide” must be 2 minutes long itself! There are more killer, ripping Kirk-explosions on this record than there have been actual METALLICA songs in the last 20 years. Sure, there are 2 ballads, “The Day That Never Comes” and “The Unforgiven III” but the former is more akin to “Fade To Black” than “Nothing Else Matters,” ripping into riff action in it’s 2nd half and the latter is way, WAY better than the name implies. It all ends with the pure aural assault of “My Apocalypse,” one of the absolute greatest 5 minutes of thrash-violence this band has ever conceived. I mean, when Hetfield growls “Split apart! Split apart! Split apart! Spit! Spit it out!” and Kirk leans on the wah-wah and just unloads, well, if you aren’t close to having a musical orgasm, you need to stick with the training wheels. Best thing I can tell you? Yesterday I heard “Enter Sandman” on the radio and the hacking rifferama on this record made that sound like a pop hit.
So, what the hell am I doing? Two reviews in one? So MOTORHEAD took the direct road, METALLICA took the scenic route but both got to the same point here in the late summer of 2008. That point is kicking your pathetic ass. Buy or die. Every Numerical Rating Higher Than Everything Else

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