With the recent passing of one of Rock’s last great frontmen, I felt it was time to take another look at the record that really kicked off the reign of Motörhead; their second album, Overkill.
But why review Overkill and not what many consider to be the definitive Motörhead album, Ace Of Spades? Well, because I do what I want! And because if you’re new to Motörhead, this is the gateway album. Skip their best seller for now because this is where you first really hear the band’s signature cocktail of loud, fast, and rough in all it’s glory. Oh, and before you listen let’s get one thing out of the way. Lemmy doesn’t sing. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. He yells, he growls, he barks, he roars, and he makes your damn arm hairs stand on end. Got it? Good, I don’t want you to have a heart attack the first time you put this album on.
Because this isn’t really an album, it’s a full frontal assault. And for those of you already familiar with the Kilmister, that should be no surprise.
The title track kicks things into overdrive with it’s fast, driven tempo and double bass drumming from Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor (Wait, is that where Animal got his name!? They both even have the same crazy hair…). And without missing a beat it dives straight into a whirlwind trio of Motörhead staples before finally catching a breather (or this album’s version of one) right before the album flip with the more paced out Capricorn.
Side two picks it right up again with my personal favorite song on the album, No Class. Everything from Eddie Clarke’s guitar riffs, to Lemmy’s gritty vocals, just feel so damn right on this track. And while some would knock it for leaning more Rock than Metal, I’d argue who the hell cares? Damage Case is next up, and easily ranks in the top 3 songs on this album. Just listen to that guitar if you have any doubts. Tear Ya Down revs the engine one final time to give you enough speed to coast through the plodding Metropolis (still a great song on it’s own, just a bit out of place) and ends with the raw and bluesy Limb from Limb.
And last but not least, what about that cover art? Airbrushed by the great Joe Petagno nothing says metal like an exploding Snaggletooth skull. Just plain f*cking awesome.
All said, a great album and one you should definitely add to your collection before you go out and get Ace Of Spades like everyone else… If Amazon ever restocks it that is.
Album Score: 8/10
Born to lose, lived to win. The world lost a great one Lemmy.