We are Motorhead and we play rock n roll…album number 22. The band has had one hell of a career but is often under-appreciated because of how little they’ve deviated from their tried & tested formula. Motorhead are an institution within the rock & metal music world, familiar & warm.
Opener Victory or Die is a slab of glorious rock music that instantly puts any doubts about Motorhead slowing down to rest. Fast paced with incredible riffs & a great guitar solo that leads into a Lemmy/drum only combo that is shows off the man’s unique vocal style.
Thunder & Lightning is more of the same at first but makes its mark with a killer solo that sends shivers down your spine. The opening riff of Fire Storm Hotel is incredibly catchy before settling in with an almost sleazy sound. Great vocals throughout with another brilliant guitar solo make this one of the best tracks on the album.
A rolling drum intro keeps the pace up for Shout out All of Your Lights, a more aggressive Motorhead number with a fist-raising, shout it out loud chorus that will put a smile on your face.
The Devil’s heaviness & darker edge make it a much more unique song & the chuggy-style riff that plays behinds Lemmy’s statement that the devil seeks your soul is very good. Electricity is err…electric, exciting but a bit more by the numbers lacking a killer hook by contrast to the rest of the album.
Evil Eye seems similar in that it doesn’t seem like anything too special at first but transforms wonderfully as it reaches its short conclusion. It’s the kind of song that you sit up & take real notice of…replaying it a few times to pick up every little thing.
A catchy, head-banging traditional Motorhead song comes next, Teach Them How to Bleed, easily recognisable even before Lemmy opens his mouth.
The ballad melody of Til the End is a real surprise but one that is very welcome as it’s nice to see Motorhead do more than just great rock songs. What’s really impressive here though are Lemmy’s vocals & the lyrical content. It is simply mind-blowing, if you listen to one song off Bad Magic make it this.
Tell Me Who to Kill brings back the heaviness & has some of the better riffs on the album while the amazingly titled, Choking on Your Screams plods along lacking an edge that might make it seem less predictable.
The final song on the album (not including a cover to come), When the Sky Comes Looking for You is the epitome of a Motorhead song, rock and roll played fast, Lemmy’s growls & exciting riffs. It does end a little abruptly but it works.
Finally we have a cover of The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil. I’m not a fan of the band but the song is pretty incredible & Motorhead do a really good version of it here. It’s a song that works so well with Lemmy’s gruff vocal style.
I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed Bad Magic as I could be forgiven for thinking that Motorhead had begun to take the safe route on album number 22. There are varying styles & songs throughout & while most have that Motorhead feel there really isn’t a bad one throughout!
Motorhead - Bad Magic (UDR)