Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Motorhead - No Remorse

It seems to me that it took me a while before I owned anything by Motorhead other than compilation cuts, but this compilation sure made a believer out of me!

Consisting of both greatest hits and rarities, this collection truly is some of the best that this band had to offer!

Opening with – of course – the classic “Ace of Spades” and Lemmy’s monsterous bass chords, you know that there’s no escape from the madness for the next hour & ½ or so! Their theme song, “Motorhead”, follows and explains why Lemmy was kicked out of Hawkwind and why he was lumped in with the new punk crowd before basically creating his own genre. I actually first heard this song on an early “punk” collection.

There is something truly demented about someone who looks like Lemmy singing about “Jailbait”, but it is still a hard-rockin’ song! “Stay Clean” has an ultra-cool riff and even a bass solo! “Killed by Death” is surprisingly catchy, considering the subject matter, and has some great guitar playing on it. They move into hardcore before hardcore existed with “Iron Fist”, though again, it has a memorable chorus! One of their poppiest riffs appears on “Dancing on your Grave” of all things!

Lemmy’s ode to himself, “Snaggletooth”, is a psychotic romp through power chords and Lemmy’s mirror! Crazed high energy and a wild ending of multiple key changes over a wildly soloing guitar!

There are several homages to decades gone by on this comp as is the cover of “Louie Louie” with prominent organ! Any time that someone does this classic, you never know if they are doing it tongue in cheek, but I think that Lemmy just wanted to show what a great song this is!

Stealing the riff from ZZ Top’s “Tush”, the band still manages to make “No Class” their own. I understand that on the CD reissue, there is another version of this song with Wendy O Williams on it, but I haven’t heard that.

“We are the Road Crew” is an amazing stream-of-consciousness rant about the “glories” of touring. Damn fine number that pretty much anyone who has ever been in a band can relate to (whether or not you’ve actually had a road crew!). The explanation that I’ve heard for the long stretch of feedback in the solo is that the guitarist fell over drunkenly while recording and they left it in! Pretty genius and appropriate for the theme!

Covering the Birds’ cover of the r’n’b number, “Leaving Here” is another nod to Lemmy’s youth and another crazed, high-energy rocker! But then there’s the masterpiece of the collection – “Locomotive”! The intro is one of the sickest and most extreme double-bass drum pieces I’ve ever heard and thrusts you into a song that is truly “faster than a speeding locomotive”! Tremendous power and playing all the way through!

Girlschool (a fantastic 80’s all-female metal band with at least a couple of great albums) teamed up with Motorhead for a few songs and two are included here. “Please Don’t Touch” is the terrific old Johnny Kidd and the Pirates tune and is given a sassy, sexy, dirty twist by these combined maniacs! The other collaboration is “Emergency”, though with just Lemmy singing, it is hard to really notice the extra personnel, but still ultra-hip.

There are more cool moments on this set but suffice to say that this is an excellent introduction to this band of reprobates with several otherwise unavailable tracks and the CD set seems to have even more.