Just dug this one out #18: Overkill by Motorhead

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Lug 7 2008, 13:02

Posted to Everything's Swirling on July 7th, 2008 by Andy

I've always claimed Overkill as my favourite Motorhead album, the opneing (title) track is as pure as it's possible to be - and it's a song about listening to Motorhead and the best thing about the band is being immersed in their music so the best Motorhead song has to be about nothing more or less than that. Listening now I'd have to say this is unquestionably the greatest metal track ever...by a country mile. Knowing that the album isn't going to get better ought to be a problem but strangely isn't. The rest of the album is patchy but there's enough to maintain its top of the stack position...

Tear Ya Down is a love song - I'm not quite sure how the title reconciles, I'm guessing it must just be a euphemism for sex (as I suppose "rip you Limb From Limb" is later) and as such is unpleasantly aggressive but I love the idea that the protagonist has put effort into this relationship - "I was talking to you all night long, every line was a favourite song" and the "I'll give you supernatural powers" ending is just lovely - who knew Lemmy could be so tender?

The angry/bitter/get-out-of-my-life songs are more traditional Motorhead fare and are variable - (I Won't) Pay Your Price is pedestrian and possibly the worst track on the album (although the distasteful Damage Case is certainly the most unpleasant), whereas No Class is funny and clever and a classic - "no buddy I can't spare a dime" or "I know you ain't got the brain, to come in out of the rain". It's clear that pissing off Lemmy is not something you'd want to do.

Motorhead's albums have always been a muddle of smart, angry, other-worldly, unpleasant and childish and Overkill is an album with a decent proportion of the good bits. This and the awesome live Golden Years EP define Motorhead for me, and define the time in my life when music became more important than anything else...

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