Motorhead – Bad Magic (UDR)
Given his well documented health problems, Lemmy appears to have penned an intensely personal album as he manfully strives to keep the Motorhead machine in full working order.
Let’s face it, few fans believed this record would see the light of day as an increasing number of shows were cancelled and sightings of Motorhead’s chief protagonist became few and far between.
So Bad Magic’s existence is a triumph in itself – that the music is the band’s best in years is an added bonus. Opener Victory Or Die sounds like the kind of song Lemmy would hum away to himself during his darkest hour – wondering whether the end really was nigh. Fully realised and powerfully produced, it’s the perfect antidote to months of doom and gloom.
And there’s more. Till The End is equally emotive: the stripped down ballad leaving Lemmy with nowhere to hide as he lays his vocal talents on the line. It’s a song bursting with self-reflection but a tune that consciously steers clear of self-pity.
In fact Bad Magic offers no hint of regret, fear or trepidation at a time when Lemmy could justifiably be consumed by all three. It’s almost as if Motorhead’s main man accepts this may be his last shot at rock and roll glory and he’s going out with an almighty bang.
It’s difficult to review this album without feeling a huge degree of sympathy for one of the nation’s true rock treasures. But Lemmy wouldn’t want that and Bad Magic doesn’t need it. Strip away the back story and this is a brilliant rock record in its own right. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Magic Touch