London WC2 Astoria

"This," says the man with the voice like a scalded toad, "is a [I]very [/I]fast song....

“This,” says the man with the voice like a scalded toad, “is a [I]very [/I]fast song. Don’t dance to it, you’ll fuck your legs up.” It’s wildly premature, but we might just have an early contender for [a]Lemmy[/a]’s epitaph.

For the moment though, he’s very much alive. He might be reduced to releasing albums on obscure German labels, but once again he’s here stripping the spandex memory from metal like hydrochloric acid on skin. Because Motvrhead are still essentially the [I]Fight Club[/I] of music.

Feeling frustrated? Then pummel. When that thrill wanes? Smash things up. It certainly brings a whole new meaning to the concept of ‘greatest hits’. Greasy, hairy and unrepentantly unreconstructed, the songs all basically follow the same grunting, skull-caving premise. Occasionally a solo creeps in, sometimes a lyric is audible, but when you have metal monsters as hard-hitting as ‘Born To Raise Hell’, or the war-pig grunting of the incomparable ‘Ace Of Spades’, such variations are mere afterthoughts.

Of course, it’s faintly ridiculous, but Motvrhead belch in the face of such petty considerations as cool, leaving you wondering how Feeder or Skunk Anansie (both Skin and Ace pitch in on songs they can only dream of emulating) have the cheek to consider themselves keepers of the metal flame. On Christmas Eve, [a]Lemmy[/a] is 55. Yet Motvrhead still totally rock. Go, go, grandpa!

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