What I Missed In 2016: Motorhead’s Parting Shot

Since I launched this blog in March, I have tried to write about as many wonderful things as I can, in essays, the podcast, and every Friday in the New Release Roundup. Try as I might, I can’t write about all the good stuff coming out. This will be my annual attempt to correct that. For the next ten days, I’ll be highlighting albums I missed in 2016. To cast an even wider net, I’ve enlisted some talented friends to write about some of their favorites this year. Look for that Friday.

MotorheadClean Your Clock (Live In Munich 2015)
Lemmy Kilmister kind of kicked off the parade of lost and lamented musicians in 2016 when he died between Christmas and New Year’s last year. That makes this is the last live album Motorhead recorded, and as parting shots go, it’s a good one. When those first few riffs of “Bomber” punch you in the face, try to reconcile the fact that this is just three guys onstage – Lemmy on vocals and bass, Phil Campbell on guitar, and Mikkey Dee on drums. They are all monsters, and together, they fill all available space in the air around them vibrating sound. This is a sixteen-track ass kicking, and yes, that includes “Ace of Spades,” if you were wondering. They spread the material around a 36-year period, from Overkill in 1979 to their final studio album, Bad Magic in 2015. There’s even a little acoustic action in “Whorehouse Blues,” which Lemmy introduces as “a song from our blues delta phase.” It’s just as gritty as anything else they play. It fits. Lemmy sounds a bit rough vocally, but you don’t put on a Motorhead live album if you’re looking for an aria. His growl is what the material calls for anyway. If you need your clock cleaned for 2017, stop here first.

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