On Motörhead

On a fateful day in 2002, you played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. From that day on, Motörhead drilled its beer-spitting, sweaty motorcycle romps into your brain.

Motörhead is pure. Motörhead is consistent. Motörhead is the anthem of every ballistic missile that’s waiting to rip across the stratosphere and ravage cities whole.

Motörhead is the distillation of a sound unbounded. Unlike most bands that haven’t changed their sound in over 30 years, Motörhead’s sound still rings true. Fans flock day in and day out to go see the loud black-clad ensemble. In short, if you like Motörhead, you like everything that the group has recorded in its 35-year existence as a band. The over-the-top umlaut in its name would spell disaster for any other band, but Motörhead pulls it off and makes you think it invented the symbol. When these musicians play their straight-ahead, black leather-clad romps into your brain, the audience knows they’re preaching the faith of rock ’n’ roll.

When on the microphone, Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister squints at every word he squeezes out of his smoke-clawed vocal chords. I seriously wonder how Lemmy’s vocal chords, like Tom Waits’, have made it through the guttural mayhem that Lemmy has put them through.

Interestingly, he’s been the only constant member of Motörhead through the past 35 years. It is this rotating cast of members that has allowed Motörhead to inculcate its bona-fide grit-rock into the skulls of millions worldwide. Motörhead has become an ethos, and any performance by Motörhead is a channeling of that undefinable hell-raising ethos. Young or old, once you get Motörhead in your veins, it’s there to stay.

So, If you’re ready to listen to that mean, chain-smoking, Yuengling-guzzling, toe-tapping, fist-clenching sound once more, some songs I recommend would include “Mean Machine,” off Orgasmatron; “Blackheart,” off Rock ’N’ Roll; and “Whorehouse Blues,” off Inferno.

-Juan Fernandez