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We Ain't Talking Dr Spock,
This review is from: Orgasmatron (Audio CD)
`Orgasmatron' was the first Motörhead album in three years after the excellent but largely misunderstood `Another Perfect Day'. A completely new line up (with the exception of Lemmy of course) and years of record company troubles meant the band really had something to prove and `Orgasmatron' not only proved this point but it forced your brains through your nose in the process.
`Orgasmatron' shows a healthy balance of the bands signature rock 'n' roll swagger with more experimental touches, as such this may be more preferable to fans who found
`Another Perfect Day' too far removed from the `Fast' Eddie era. I do however have one point of contention with `Orgasmatron', its mix is pretty bizarre. At times the guitars seem to disappear from the mix completely which is especially odd considering that what was then a newly twin guitar band should surely have more guitar, right? The actual production sound itself is fine with a particularly excellent drum sound...but the mix is as iffy as four week old seafood.
Performance wise the band play with a youthful exuberance of a band who know they can rock like b*stards, but just haven't been able to put it down to record yet. As such the `Orgasmatron' displays a vitality and hunger that is essential to a great Motörhead record. Guitarist's Würzel and Phil Campbell have distinctive yet complementary styles fitting within the established Motörhead mould but instantly recognisable. Würzel (along with being a scarecrow) is the more off the wall of the two relying on over the top bends, trills and even his fairly distinctive take on tapping, in all it makes for a great fun listen. Phil on the other hand is more reserved in his style, being more of a traditional blues rock base with a definite touch of class. In addition to this the pair fit in with the general tradition of Motörhead hell raising for instance Phil drank two bottles of vodka a day in the mid 80's and Würzel listed his ambitions as getting up in the morning and drinking as much as he could...Gentlemen, I salute you! Other new boy here is Pete Gill ,of Saxon fame (or not), who is a great drummer with a pounding double bass sound. However, Pete proved to be a bit of an odd character (even by Motörhead standards!) who kept a note book with all kinds of bizarre things like `Phil Campbell owes me 50p' and apparently enjoyed flashing himself in public. Lem, as always sounds like a plane taking off. But lyrically he puts down some truly excellent work, even by his own lofty standards. The title track happens to be everyone's favourite set of Motörhead lyrics, focusing on the macabre side of organised religion which a finesse and elegance that few could match. But lyrical themes are varied and interesting from more darkness and horror in say `Deaf Forever' to classy double entendres (no really, stay with me!) such as `Your magic circle ain't where's its at' the circle would be the physiological effect of girls on men...women are sorcerers because they can give men an erection from a distance, magical prick teasers don't y'know! Splendid, learn along with Lem.
`Orgasmatron' does featuring some new ideas for Motörhead. First of all they open with a mid paced number, eschewing the often used ploy (not only by Motörhead) of opening with a bit of speed metal. `Deaf Forever' however is rather excellent number driven along by some deliciously simple riffs and rudimentary drum work (bare a few killer fills). The chorus is ridiculously catchy and I like the little shouty thing at the end of each line. The title track itself is built around a bass drone and although cut from the same cloth as `Deaf Forever' it's heavier, morbid and menacing. A truly haunting song condensing all the horror of thousands of years of plebiscite misery into...oh, about five and a half minutes. It's written from an interesting perspective too, from kind of religion as a omnipresent and prevalent being looking at all the suffering its caused in glee. This is anti-organised religion lyrics done exceptionally well; eloquent and poetic without "God is gay, hail Satan!" Kerry Kingism's.
But as always we do get are beloved straight-forward rockers and gee whiz aunt Mary aren't their some corkers! `Dr Rock' is a lively and bouncy number and a stalwart of their live set to this day. It's got some nice lead bass work and doesn't have a proper guitar solo but rather a noise that sounds like a helicopter...Jawsome! `Built For Speed' is shining example of one of Lemmy's many odes to the power, splendour and majesty of rock (which in fact is so majestic that one can use heroic diction). Musically, its got a drum intro to die for, some simply divine riffs (as in their simple and divine) and a nice trade off section, which Phil comes out trumps in by making a noise that goes like this *naw naw naw naw* , not that Würzel is slacking either. On the rest of the album we get lots of lovely straight forward loud, fast and furious rock 'n' roll, all which are catchy. So it's pretty clear `Orgasmatron' is all out rocking rock album.
1986 may have been the year of thrash, but once again Motörhead proved there just isn't a substitute for the new religion, the electric church...rock 'n' roll. Let it live, let it live. Somewhat of an overlooked classic by the music press and some more casual Motörhead fans, `Orgasmatron' is worthy of a place in any rock fans collection.