Thursday, June 29, 2017

Motörhead - Snake Bite Love (1998)

Motörhead is a band that is well known for not fuzzing around when it comes to recording a new album. It is in to the studio, write the songs, record the songs, and out, all in a time span of only a small bunch of weeks. While the band has been really effective with this strategy, it was only a matter of time before they would make an album too quickly, regretting some decisions. That album is named "Snake Bite Love", and while it is not a complete wreck, it is most certainly an album that could have used some more time.

Lemmy, Mikkey, and Phil have all openly expressed their disappointment of how this album turned out, and I can absolutely see why. A couple of songs in here are just pure head scratches, fillers that should have stayed at the studio, or even better, the sketch paper. One of these songs are "Night Side", a song with a pretty decent beat, but with an extremely sluggish and boring chorus. With a little more work behind, it might have been a cool track, instead it stands as a clear example that this record was not truly finished.

With that said, there is still a lot to like about this album. The performance is nice, and it does sound like Motörhead from start to finish, with more of their heavier side in it. To be completely honest, it does sound just like any other Motörhead album, just that it has some more inconsistencies than what we might be used to, so it is clear that time was the issue, not the chemistry of the band.

And while some songs are pure filler, we got some really fun tracks here that are both familiar, but also highly interesting, especially in that brilliant first half. The title track is all about the love for snakes (a topic that would be more fitting for Slash to be honest), and expresses it so with some good groovy rhythms, more hypnotizing than Kaa's stare. Then we have "Assassin", a fine song indeed with a really awkward, but also kind of cool, hook, where Lemmy pronounces the title as "Ass-ass-in", making it also sound like he is saying "That's a sin". Not my favourite, but fun none the less.

The best one do comes straight after though, and it is named "Take The Blame". It is one of the fastest songs the band has ever made, so it will certainly get you into a swing within an instant, and the lyrics of the uselessness of politicians is so god damn hilarious. It also slows down two times, but it never loses its edge, not even when Lemmy goes "Blah blah blah blah blah" (literally). As said, the first five songs of this album are pure awesomeness, and just what we want to see from the band.

It is just such a shame that the quality dips quite a lot when "Dead And Gone" enters the stage, sending the album down the gutter. I guess it would have been a little dull if the band had kept going in the same pace throughout the entire record, but if you are gonna change things up a bit, do not temper with the quality of the craft. We get some nice swing in "Don't Lie To Me", and "Better Off Dead" ends the album on an upside, but it is such a drop from the first half that it hurts the album quite a lot, especially when songs like "Night Side" and "Joy of Labour" are so mind boggling, being contenders for the running of worst Motörhead song ever.

"Snake Bite Love" might end up as one of the most inconsistent Motörhead records to date, with very high peaks, and very low valleys. The time might be the cause of this, but I know the band can pull one better out of their ass, or simply just take it easy and take some more time on it. Still, I do enjoy this album, the first half kicks a lot of ass, and the album cover is pretty dope, so it can skate by pretty easily. It attacks like a cobra, but tries to smother you like a really old and weak python.

Songs worthy of recognition: Take The Blame, Dogs of War, Snake Bite Love

Rating: 6,5/10 Assassins

More reviews of Motörhead
Ace of Spades
Iron Fist
Another Perfect Day
Rock 'n' Roll
March Ör Die
Overnight Sensation
We Are Motörhead
Kiss of Death
The Wörld Is Yours
Bad Magic

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