The World Is Yours
posted on 1/2011 By:
What the hell happened to the fanfare surrounding a new Motörhead album?
The fact that no one seems to be talking about The Wörld is Yours, Lemmy and Co.’s landmark 20th studio album (or 21st, depending on how you count), is not only surprising, it’s downright loony. It’s almost as if in the mid-90s someone flicked a switch that knocked the band down to novelty status. Let us not forget that, at least up until last year’s release of The Final Frontier, Motörhead was far and away the best current flag-bearer of the Heavy British Invasion’s most legendary acts. Iron Maiden, for all their quality, were distant between albums and overblown in scope (again, until they knocked it out of the park last year). Judas Priest’s reunion was killer live but lost momentum in the studio. So why no love for Motörhead? They’ve been kicking tons of rump since the late 90s and have multiple recent albums that compete with their glory years, specifically 2004’s Inferno and 2008’s Motörizer (my personal vote for their best since 1916).
Well shame on all of you for not raising a pint to the mere thought of a Snaggletooth appearance, and shame on me for not rushing to get this review written as fast as humanly possible to make up for your lagging asses. In short, The Wörld is Yours is another quality addition to the Motörhead library. It doesn’t quite achieve the excellence of other recent heaps, but it still shows that they’re a band in top form with absolutely zero intention of slowing down their swagger-train one iota.
Upon first listen, The Wörld is Yours appears to be right out of the new millennium Motörhead mold: Lemmy’s raspy croon and rhythm-oriented bass, Mikkey Dee’s criminally underrated drum skills, Phil Campbell’s oft-shred-happy guitar work, a mixture of metalized blues rock with thrash heaviness, and a crisp, clean production. However, further listens reveal it to be a bit more on the rock’n’roll side, meaning that it’s also a little less metal than other recent offerings. While Inferno and Kiss of Death had hitherto untouched levels of thrash, tracks such as “Get Back In Line” and “Rock N Roll Music” see the band again bringing out that drunken Chuck Berry side that made “Going to Brazil” a classic. For most of the album the boogie largely outweighs the bombast, but a few later tunes hint at the band’s more abrasive and serious side. “Brotherhood of Man” in particular channels “Orgasmatron” in both lyrical content and its unrelenting drive.
That there hints at why The Wörld is Yours is simultaneously a good album and an ever-so-slightly forgettable one: most of the great songs directly channel something that Motörhead has done before. Alright, you could justifiably say that about every album they’ve done since Margaret Thatcher was in power, but the best albums offer more than a few serious beacons, and most of The Wörld is Yours is just short of the level set by post-millennial ball-busters such as “In the Name of Tragedy,” “Brave New World,” or “The Thousand Names of God.” Still, even if the new material doesn’t all burrow into your cranium, there isn’t a ditty present that would hamper a live set or a down home boozin’, and more than a couple come close to being new classics. The best of these is finale “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye,” a track so oozing with bravado that it singlehandedly improves the album’s replay value while further cementing Lemmy’s status as a lyrical legend. (The man ranges from George Thorogood to Jello Biafra, for chrissakes.)
There you have it. Maybe the lack of fanfare is based on the band’s predictability, but I’ll be damned if The Wörld is Yours doesn’t still deserve your excitement and command your attention, albeit a little less than other latter-day platters. Lemmy, Phil, and Mikkey are in top-shelf form and clearly still having a shitload of fun after all these years. For fans, it’s not so much a question of if you should purchase The Wörld is Yours, just a matter of filling out the more essential parts of the Motörhead catalog first. So get to it.
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