Motorhead – Aftershock


By Sean Palmerston

It’s not even a minute into “Heartbreaker”, the first track on the new Motorhead album Aftershock when Lemmy spits out the lyrics “you don’t see me shedding tears, no time to say goodbye”, and while this lyric isn’t directly about his recent health scares this summer, you can read between the lines about the lyric and know that, sick or not, the man’s still on a mission and he’s gonna do it till the death.

Aftershock, the band’s 21st studio album since 1975, is another great one. It seems to me that Motorhead has been on a hit-or-miss trajectory since about 2002. That year’s Inferno was arguably the best album released that year, a real return-to-form for the legendary trio, but for this longtime fan the next album (2006’s Kiss of Death) was solid but not at the same level. The band continued that streak with their next two records as well – 2008’s Motorizer was excellent but 2010’s The World Is Ours fell a bit short of the mark. Thankfully that is not the case with Aftershock.

There are a few absolute Motorhead classics on this album, notably “Coup De Grace”, which has an almost “Snaggletooth” vibe to it, and my personal favourite track on the record “Death Machine”. This is an absolute-for-the-ages-classic Motorhead cut, so good that it would fit nicely on Overkill, Ace of Spades or Sacrifice. Yes, it really is that good. There are a few great bluesy tracks on Aftershock as well: “Lost Woman Blues” has a windy, smoky guitar riff from Phil Campbell that builds into a nice solo, while “Dust and Glass” and it’s chorused guitar effect slithers on like a snake in the grass and has Lemmy’s most heartfelt vocals on the record.

It’s a great thing to have a new Motorhead album in 2013, especially when it is as solid as this one is. Aftershock does not disappoint throughout and is another great addition to the band’s catalogue. Long live Motorhead!

(UDR Music)

9 / 10

Aftershock will be released on October 22, 2013

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.