Lemmy growls “I Don’t Know What I Like, I Don’t Know What I Am, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going, And I Don’t Give A Damn” on “Waiting For A Snake”, but nothing could be further from the truth. Lemmy and Motorhead know exactly where they’re going and who they want to be.
If AC/DC are stadium rock’s eternal headliner then Motorhead are the dirtier grittier academy equivalent. Having turned the metal world on its head with 1979’s Overkill (a record which saw the band fulfil its ambition of combining punk’s relentless speed and energy with metal’s atmosphere and scale) Motorhead embarked on an incredibly consistent career.
While Motorhead have rarely reached the heights of “Line In The Sand”, “Overkill” and “Ace Of Spades” they have maintained a remarkably impressive standard. They look and feel like an institution and The World Is Yours is an accomplished record.
“Born To Lose” and “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye” have the sound of classic singles but the energy and urgency of new releases. Phil Campbell’s riffs are unremitting, if not always entirely original, and Mikkey Dee drumming is as impressive as ever. He deftly punctuates the brutal bombast of tracks like “I Know What You Need” with satisfying fills; as Motorhead stumble upon some perfect circle pit inciting grooves.
The World Is Yours is only let down by its lyricism. Lemmy finds himself spouting some truly awkward and often half hearted couplets. It’s hard to blame him; he’s been singing about outlaws, fist fights and cruel women for the last forty years, and at times his vocals feel entirely arbitrary.
Nevertheless when Motorhead are engaged they write brilliant snarling throw away rock songs and even their misfires offer earnest energy as a substitute for new ideas. While it’s hard to recommend The World Is Yours over 2008’s equally enjoyable Motorized, this latest offering provides a perfect starting point for newcomers and is a satisfying addition to Motorhead’s lengthy canon.
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