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Motorhead | Inferno | review | metal | Lollipop
by Brian Varney
Lemmy Kilmister is clearly some sort of scientific miracle or perhaps a genetic accident. Motörhead has released albums in each of the last four decades, and although Lemmy is nearing the days of the senior discount at the grocery store on Wednesdays, he continues to make quality heavy metal albums. Call him the Nolan Ryan of metal, if you like.
I must admit that my knowledge of the last decade or so of the Motörhead discography is pretty spotty, and I do still prefer the Fast Eddie/Philty Animal/Lemmy-era lineup, but you don't have to grade on any sort of curve to appreciate the fact that Inferno is a damn good album. The lineup has changed since Overkill, and the band's sound has gotten more metal with the passing of years, but overall, the sound is surprisingly similar, i.e. loud r&b-charged rock and roll with Lemmy's incomparable, cantankerous bellow frequently disguising some surprisingly eloquent lyrics. Like AC/DC and the Ramones, Motörhead has managed to tap into some sort of eternal pipeline that allows the band to seemingly recycle the same few ideas, album after album. The difference is that both of those bands eventually wound down into second-and-below tier record-making, while Motörhead continues to go strong.
So, yeah, don't expect too many surprises from Inferno, except maybe surprise at the fact that they're still so good. Well, the acoustic closer "Whorehouse Blues" (with harmonica by Lemmy!) is a side of the band that hasn't reared its head too often, but aside from that, it's second verse, same as the first, and God bless 'em for it.