Wednesday, July 6, 2016

RECORD REVIEW: Motörhead "Clean Your Clock"

Clean Your Clock
(UDR Music)

Simply put, the highly-
anticipated latest record
from Motörhead serves
as a powerfully authentic,
yet bittersweet tribute.

On the dry and often barren landscape of modern-day, popular music, Motörhead stood alone — far from the disposable flock. In fact, to say that the band and its founding frontman, bassist Lemmy Kilmister, are / were mere pioneers and innovators, would be to diminish the full impact that they've had on rock roll for the last 40 years. As a result, Lemmy's untimely death in December 2015, was not only shocking and tragic, the loss has left such a void that it won't likely be filled — ever.

Lemmy - 2015
Motörhead's uncompromising integrity and impeccable reputation was established and maintained where it counts — onstage. And given the band's unparalleled reputation from decades of relentless touring, it's only fitting that the first release following Lemmy's death is a career-spanning live set. Captured last November 20th and 21st at Munich, Germany's Zenith, Clean Your Clock is culled from the last two Motörhead shows to ever be recorded — resulting in a collection that's been called, "a celebration and an epitaph."

Motörhead was always, if nothing else, 100% real. So, while this blistering 16-song set showcases the band's musical "burn" factor searing hotter than ever, Lemmy's voice does possess the authentic frailness of an ailing artist. For him to have been captured at that point in his life, and then presented any differently on this record would have been dishonest. And Lemmy was always 100% honest —  and so is the record. 

Phil Campbell (top)
Mikkey Dee (bottom)
As a near-lifelong die hard, the words "honesty," "integrity" and "authenticty" come to mind repeatedly with each listen. When Lemmy dedicates "Doctor Rock" to Motörhead's founding drummer, the late Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, it's a heartfelt tribute. And when he refers to longtime current drummer, Mikkey Dee, as "the best drummer in the world," the sentiment feels equally from-the-heart. It's also quite a spot-on observation, as Dee delivers a rib-cracking performance throughout  including a superb, stand-out solo on the aforementioned, "Doctor Rock." For his part, veteran guitarist, Phil Campbell, proves why he'd been Lemmy's musical "right hand man" for more than three decades. 

Motörhead - Clean Your Clock
Available NOW in various
formats and configurations.
While the record sizzles from start to finish  oozing such ferocious classics as 1979's "Stay Clean" and "Metropolis," newer tracks, including 2015's "When the Sky Comes Looking for You" and 2013's "Lost Woman Blues" pack equal punch. However, for my money, some of the angriest nuggets on the record are 1979's "Over the Top," 1987's "Just 'Cos You Got the Power" and the amazing, 1979 set-closing standard, "Overkill." Oh yeah, that little "Ace of Spades" tune ain't half bad either.

I think that Lemmy himself actually describes this record best with his signature concert introduction   "We're Motörhead — and we play rock and roll." Freaking perfect!

-Christopher Long
(July 2016)

Read Christopher Long's
2015 personal tribute to
Lemmy Kilmister HERE.

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.

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