By Karl Harcott
Thirty-five years down the line, Motörhead’s earned the right to put out whatever they want. Truth be told, it’s impressive that at this stage, they’re a band who’s –really- never put out a bad album. Sure, some are better, more beloved than others, but there’s never been a Motörhead album that’s lost them fans. The Wörld Is Yours, their twentieth studio effort, is no different – they’ve opted to put out a compelling, throttling record here. In this writer’s opinion, this album is probably the most cohesive, most consistent effort from Motörhead since 1991’s 1916. So much so, in fact, that it almost seems that album was a template for the songs on The Wörld Is Yours. On nearly every song, you could swear you’ve heard these riffs before – and not in a general ‘Oh it’s Motörhead, all their albums sound the same’ sense, either. Check out “I Know How to Die”, for example, and tell me if the main riff doesn’t sound –a lot- like it could have been cribbed from the “Going to Brazil” and “No Voices In the Sky” sessions – it’s the same main riff as either of those, turned inside out.
Meanwhile, “Born To Lose” is an absolute barn-burning opener, catchy as hell. Phil Campbell’s riffwork, especially as it dive-bombs into the chorus, is absolutely monstrous. Mikkey Dee’s syncopated double-bass work throughout is tasty as well – he’s truly Motörhead’s not-so-secret weapon, and he’s front and center here. Lemmy’s lead bass and clenched-jaw growl are in fine form as well, seething with the piss and vinegar of a man half his age.
Lead single “Get Back In Line” is latter-day Motörhead at their two-fingers-up finest: Phil Campbell’s amphetaminized Chuck Berry riffs slathered in Lemmy’s familiar Marlboro rasp; meanwhile Mikkey keeps it four-on-the-floor but throws in just enough of his signature licks and fills to remind you who’s really stoking the engine here.
The rest of the songs are equally memorable, and while there’s not a clinker to be had throughout the entire disc, I can’t shake the feeling that Motörhead are really trying to recapture the same vibe they had going on 1916, but I’m not complaining. I would personally argue that 1916 was the last ‘classic’ Motörhead album, and if a band of Motörhead’s stature wants to try and rekindle that feeling 21 years later, you’re not going to hear me complain, bub.
I know it’s the Motörhead formula for all albums to sound somewhat similar, but I’ve never heard them try and emulate one particular past album so blatantly. But admittedly, I enjoyed The Wörld Is Yours in its entirety much more thoroughly than the last few albums Motörhead has released, so I guess there’s something to be said for whatever formula was used here. The Wörld Is Yours has a long way to go to becoming a Motörhead classic, but I rank it above a lot of their more recent catalogue.
Kids, if your only exposure to Motörhead is jamming “The Ace of Spades” on Guitar Hero, then don’t start here. Put down your fake guitar and go get 1979’s Overkill STAT. For those of you already well-versed in the classics, sure, pick up The Wörld Is Yours – I mean, you were going to anyway.