Thursday, May 11, 2017

Motörhead - March Ör Die (1992)

While Motörhead has never been a band that have constantly occupied the mainstream radio stations, but it did seem like they tried to make a run for it during the mid 90's, just when they were getting some momentum again in the sales department. "March Ör Die" is certainly an album that has some of those thoughts in the back of its head, scaling off most of the band's heavy repertoire and adding a more broader sound, a recipe for boredom in most cases.

But we are after all talking about Motörhead, and Lemmy & co. still finds way to implement their classic attitude in songs that may not have the usual strength that we are used to. With a fairly slow song like "Bad Religion", the band makes it fantastic with some dark, but not too heavy, riffs, and a steady tempo that works like a charm. The lyrics of Lemmy not giving a flying fuck about religion is fantastic as well, including the phrase "Evangelistic Nazis", one that I will most likely use from now on.

Besides from "Bad Religion", there are not a lot of standouts in this record, at least not for quality. "I Ain't No Nice Guy" do stand out for being a fine tuned ballad, but it is the addition of Ozzy Osbourne that makes you raise an eyebrow or two. A duet with two of the most recognizable metal singers out there, it is weird as hell, especially since the song is slow, definitely not in my taste. This is no coincidence however, because Lemmy was asked to write a couple of songs for Ozzy's upcoming album "No More Tears", including the hit "Mama, I'm Coming Home". And like that was not enough, guitarist Slash is also in on a corner with a solo on the song, and some additional guitar on "You Better Run".

As previously stated though, this is an album with few high points, and few speed points for that matter. It feels like the band is holding back for some reason, not giving their all here. It is a classic side effect of trying to hit the mainstream wall, but it could also be because Motörhead had to work with three different drumming during recording after the problems with Phil Taylor.

Even with these problems, the song material is, at best, decent. We got some nice tunes here and there, but there is a lot of fillers here, more than usual, including two covers! Okay, "You Better Run" is technically not a cover, but it uses that classic blues riff that has been used a ton of times, most notably in "Bad To The Bone" (a phrase that is even used in this song). No, the real cover is "Cat Scratch Fever", originally made by Ted Nugent, a great song that unfortunately is not made with any original touch by Motörhead. Also, why is it song number 2 in the song list? A weird spot to place a cover.

Yeah, "March Ör Die" is truly a "hit or miss" record, with some songs tingling the right nerves, while others are just baffling. Something had to have hindered the band from performing at 100%, because I see small glimpses of greatness, but they are barely enough to save the album. "March Ör Die" is definitely not a train wreck, far from it actually, but it has little to no life, idling around for some time before trying to kick start itself to no avail. But hey, at least we got a couple of neat songs, and a cool title that can also be used when you go to a live show. Merch or die!

Songs worthy of recognition: Bad Religion, Asylum Choir, March Or Die

Rating: 6/10 Hellraisers

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