It's been 40 years since the world was first introduced to the name of Motörhead. In that 40 years, they have become seemingly invincible. Impervious to the likes of addiction, lineup changes, musical trends and anything else that would have decimated a lesser band. But it would seem that the Motörhead juggernaut may finally be showing signs of slowing.
Frontman Lemmy Kilminster's health in the last couple of years has led to shows cut short and numerous gig cancellations - something the band and the man took great pride in rarely ever doing in their long and storied career. With these concerns, Lemmy has adhered to the doctors strict order of the three R's of recovery. Rest, Relaxation and apparently, Recording.
Bad Magic is the band's 22nd album and while most bands this far into their career sound tired, bored or are at the very least cruising on auto-pilot, Motörhead still manage to sound heavy and hungry.
Album opener "Victory Or Die" begins with those dulcet Marlboro Red and Whiskey-laden tones that let us know that for now, Lemmy isn't going anywhere.
Bad Magic is everything that the band is loved and known for. Track after track of well-trodden themes of death and warfare. Yes, they don't give us anything new, but when you're this adept at what you do, you don't want anything new. There's only a handful of bands that adhere to the laws of immutability and even fewer still that do it successfully. People have loved Motörhead for all these years, because they've stayed Motörhead for all these years.
"Choking On Your Screams" and "Evil Eye" are perfect examples of just how tight the rhythm work of Kilminster and drummer Mikkey Dee really are. You can't squeeze a guitar pick between the grooves that these two are laying down.
Guitarist Phil Campbell is not to be forgotten - hammering out lick after lick after lick, never seeming to run out of ammunition. His work on "Electricity" alone, is worth the price of admission.
Bad Magic shows a band at the top of their game, not the end of their run. We just need to cross our fingers that the fates don't have different plans. As much as this reviewer would love to see the band live one more time, if they were to retire from the road to give Lemmy the break he so richly deserves, then so be it. Who the hell would want to imagine a world without him?