Motörhead are true survivors—if this planet experienced a nuclear holocaust, the only creatures likely to pull through would be cockroaches and Lemmy. Aftershock, Motörhead’s 21st studio release, finds the trio in top form, rocking with a vigor bands half their age would have trouble pulling off. Opening track “Heartbreaker” charges out of the starting gate with brutal riffs and Lemmy’s trademark sandpaper vocals. “End Of Time” and “Queen Of The Damned” run at a breakneck pace, the group unleashing a furious metal assault. “Death Machine” punishes eardrums with squalling guitar and pounding beats; “Silence When You Speak To Me” rides a sped-up version of Alice In Chains’ “Man In The Box” riff.
Drummer Mikkey Dee, always underrated, propels each song with locomotive power as guitarist Phil Campbell breaks from his frantic riffing for solos that are neat and to the point. There isn’t much respite from the heavy rock muscle, but a few tracks notably attempt to slow the pace a bit: “Dust And Glass” is a moody barroom lament with mournful, world-weary vocals by Lemmy, while “Lost Woman Blues” locks into a bass-driven, smoky groove before building to a rousing, Zeppelin-on-speed climax.
After nearly 40 years in the biz, you know what you’re going to get from a Motörhead release—and the band’s fans wouldn’t want it any other way. If you love blistering, no-frills rock with attitude and swagger to spare, listen to Aftershock without delay.