Saturday, March 11, 2017

Motörhead - Bomber (1979)

To me, "Bomber" has always had the reputation of being a fan favourite, an album that is clearly monumental in the history of Motörhead. However, looking at the setlist for this album, I do not find any songs that became hits or classics, in fact, the only reason I think "Bomber" is even considered a staple piece is because of the gigantic aluminum plane the band used while touring for the album, one that looked like the plane from the cover (sweet cover btw). But hell, what do I know, there might be more than the eye can see here, maybe this album has several hidden gems in them that just does not hold up against behemoths like "Overkill" and "Stay Clean". Let's find out, shall we?

We instantly get hit in the face with some great tunes here, with the groovy "Dead Men Tell No Tales" opening up, a more or less typical Motörhead song, both structure wise and sound wise. A great start, for sure, but it is the following song that catches more of my attention. "Lawman" is more of a slower, bluesy song that is poking fun at the police (not the band). Lemmy is certainly not afraid to speak his mind, and he does so in a lot of songs here too, so he was really on a song writing streak here, singing about television, marriage, and even some personal experiences from his childhood.

The biggest strength of "Bomber" is its consistency, while also offering a good amount of variety in its sound, blending the faster and groovy songs with more blues inspired bits. And while no song is really jumping out as a massive peak of the album, there is still a lot of great songs in this record. Besides the two I have already mentioned, we got songs like "Sharpshooter", "Sweet Revenge", "Poison", and the title track, all of them are fantastic songs that really elevates the album to the stratosphere.

Another notable song is "Step Down", which is not sung by Lemmy, but by the guitarist Eddie Clarke. Rumours say that Eddie did not like that Lemmy stole all of the spotlight, and Lemmy was so sick of hearing Eddie's complaints that he let him sing this song (an idea Eddie did not like at all). Whether he enjoyed it or not, Eddie is not that bad of a singer, and it would have been interesting to hear him in more songs in the future, but with a better song though, because "Step Down" is literally a step down compared to the rest of "Bomber", taking away momentum that the final two songs of the album could have really used.

So I have only talked good about this album, and it is obvious that a lot of people really like it too, but why is it rarely in the discussion of being the band's best album? Besides the obvious reason of it not containing any classic songs, I think the timing of this album was unfortunate. It was released about half a year after "Overkill", and about a year before "Ace of Spades". So "bomber" is squeezed in between two monumental albums in the band's career, which does make it easier for it being overlooked. Another reason could be that it is not the most ground breaking album, relying on its consistency maybe a little too much.

Nonetheless, "Bomber" is still a really fun album with tons of quality in it, delivering an assault that would make the Red Baron proud. It drops good song after good song on you, making sure that it wins the war against your bad mood. It is a highly explosive album that just solidifies their position as one of the biggest rising stars at the end of the 70's. We all know though that they would take an even bigger leap with the next album, taking them from being a great heavy metal band, to a legendary one.

Songs worthy of recognition: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Sharpshooter, Poison, Bomber

Rating: 8/10 Lawmen

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More reviews of Motörhead
Motörhead
Overkill

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