Remarkably, Aftershock is Motörhead’s 21st studio album to date and, despite threats to 67 year old Lemmy’s health, the band seem to be as strong as ever in regards to their music. Sporting the line-up of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, they show no sign of slowing down any time soon – even though they have been churning out the tracks for a good 40 years. Even with the younger additions to the band, they still manage to capture the essence that made Motörhead so beloved.
The trademarks that Motörhead are so well known for come out hard and fast throughout the album from the very first song, “Heartbreaker”. The guitars rage, the drums are like thunder and Lemmy’s grisly and gritty voice stays unchanged, holding the same strength and quality as any previous record. After a few listens through, the album simply gets better with many tracks that simply shine through with the old Motörhead charm.
“Coup de Grace” is another of the standard Motörhead songs; following on from “Heartbreaker” it keeps the pace of the album going strong. However, “Lost Woman Blues” manages to slow the tempo down with a soothing riff with a blues-like rhythm that emits a state of vulnerability, “Woke up this morning / All my life was broken down” (an extension of Lemmy’s own vulnerability when facing the facts of human mortality, perhaps?), before a sudden change in attitude develops; “Hey!” and the snare kicks in to finish the song in their usual frantic manner. The rest of the album follows on accordingly, with “Going to Mexico” presenting a rhythm about it that almost seems reminiscent of “Ace of Spades”, before ending the record with “Paralyzed” – a loud, heavy and energetic end to the album.
The attitude from the band, and Lemmy himself, will remind any fan as to why they loved Motörhead in the first instance. Start as you mean to finish, no?