mon 14/10/2019

CD: Motorhead - Aftershock | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Motorhead - Aftershock

CD: Motorhead - Aftershock

The belligerent, hard-rocking trio remain in rude musical health

A familiar face hoves into view

There has been conjecture that Motörhead’s latest album is titled in honour of frontman Lemmy Kilmister’s recent health problems, notably the insertion of an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator) in his chest after he suffered cardiac arrhythmia and other circulatory issues. However, one listen to Aftershock gives the finger to any notion that his band is slowing down. It may not be a match for 2010’s The World is Yours, a beast of an album whose fearless Götterdämmerung defiance was startling, but there’s enough solid Motörhead jolt to satisfy.

Boasting the ramped-up amphetamine blues-rock of recent years rather than a return to the manic metal of 2004’s Inferno, its 14 songs aren't all attention-grabbers. The opening “Heartbreaker” and closing “Paralyzed” mean business, though, and book-end a collection that also contains surprises. “Lost Woman Blues” is a Lynyrd Skynyrd-style boogie, to which guitarist Phil Campbell adds righteous Seventies raunch, and the slow, simple lament for the passing of time, “Dust and Glass”, is brief and effective. More typical and just as welcome is “Do You Believe”, wherein Lemmy returns with gusto to a favourite theme: “Don’t know what I did last night/But I sure did it good/Running wild, outta sight/Lost in Hollywood/I believe in rock’n’roll/I believe in songs/Put your faith behind it/And you won’t go far wrong.” The joy of it is he still sounds convinced, and the music’s equally committed.

Of course, those who think all Motörhead sounds the same will regard Aftershock as more evidence for the prosecution. This isn’t a band looking to explore new ground. Motorhead’s 21 studio albums do sound the same, all could have been made at any point in their nigh-on 40 year career. For some – and I am one – there is a honed brilliance in this when they get it right, a perfection. And Aftershock gets it right enough of the time.

It may not be a match for 2010’s 'The World Is Yours' but there’s enough solid Motörhead jolt to satisfy


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.