Rock & Roll Inferno
Do we really need another live Motorhead album? Yeah of course we do! Surprisingly this is only the fourth official live album (although there are a plethora of unofficial live albums), following on from the recording of their 25th anniversary show 'Better Motorhead than Dead' documents the bands 30th anniversary show from 2005 at their old stomping ground of Hammersmith.
As well as having the interest of being the 30th anniversary show this is the first live album to feature the current line up without any guest appearances and as such serves as a good record of the 'Inferno' tour. Featuring 23 tracks over two discs the set will be very familiar to die hard fans with six of the songs turning up as a DVD extra on the expanded release of 'Inferno'. Naturally all the classics are in place but there is a healthy mix of more recent material with the songs from 'Inferno' standing up particularly well alongside the older songs.
The sound is generally pretty good but there are moments such as on 'Love Me Like a Reptile' where the main riff is indistinguishable and Phil Campbell's mic is too quiet throughout. The recent additions to the set from the back catalogue are particularly welcome, most notably two songs from the more melodic 'Another Perfect Day' ('I Got Mine' & 'Dancing On Your Grave'). It's no surprise that this album sounds better the louder you play it although Lemmy's request to the sound man to turn it up seems to fall on deaf ears. There's no danger that Motorhead are ever going to come across as a band going through the motions and certainly songs like 'Metropolis' seem to have found new life here, sounding much more vibrant and urgent than on previous live offerings.
Mikkey Dee gets his chance to shine with a drum solo in 'Sacrifice', as does Campbell with a long solo in 'Just Cos You Got the Power'. This being the 30th anniversary show there are a couple of special additions like the seldom played 'We are the Road Crew' and personal favourite 'Bomber', which the crowd greet with rapturous applause (but then they do that for every song!). The acoustic live favourite 'Whorehouse Blues' is probably the song that fares worst here with Lemmy's vocals sounding a little strained at times without the advantage of studio filters. The encore consists of three songs that defined Motorhead's early years, being the title tracks of their first proper three albums, 'Bomber', 'Ace of Spades' and 'Overkill'. All three still sound as raw and fantastic as they ever did and there's surely no better set closer by any band than the awesome 'Overkill'.
For anyone who hasn't seen the band in the last few years this really should be the kick up the ass that gets you out to see them on the next tour. Few bands have been as consistent over such a long time and whilst this isn't the greatest set you're likely to see them play there's surely no such thing as a bad Motorhead set? With the current line up producing the best material since the early 80s they are deserving of another live record and let's hope they're around for the 40th anniversary!