Valhalla lies beyond the grave: MOTÖRHEAD offshoot arranges disorder to immortalize its fallen mastermind.
There’s an extremely touching picture attached to this album: Würzel and Lemmy, hugging – together for the last time. It was never a plain sailing for these lads so, voiced and spanked by the latter while ignited and embroidered by the former, “Paradise Turned Into Dust” – the record’s otherwise triumphant opener – sounds, despite all swagger, quite poignant now that the both of them are gone. “Cascade Into Chaos” came into existence when Würz teamed up with another bassist, Tim Atkinson, and remained in the works for nigh on decade, long after the English guitarist passed away in 2011, to become a testament to his ultimate licks. Full of dirty riffs smeared over mighty grooves courtesy of former FASTWAY drummer Steve Clarke, the ten songs on display – finished with vocalist Matt Baker, fretboard rider Alex Ward and an array of guests – also have underlying subtlety which gives each piece deep texture. Problem is, high on rock humor, they can’t decide whether to roll on the floor guffawing or to frown critisizing the world’s ills.
Were it up to Lem, the choice would be obvious, and the decision is made at the end with the barking “Laugh At The Devil” which wraps his roar in Fast Eddie Clarke’s six-string assault, that makes “Snakebite” so poisonous and, again, poignant, since he joined the brethren in heaven in 2018. Still, “Serial Killjoy” – where THE JAM’s Bruce Foxton cameos – will solidify lightheartedness to deliver a melody-embossed message, and “Children Of Disease” – where Würzel’s partner-in-crime Wizzö, or Phil Campbell, joins in the fun, as do UGLY KID JOE’s Whitfield Crane and GODSMACK’s Lee Richards – will slow down the bluesy chase to expand the album’s emotional scope and ruminate on life. The delicious delirium of the title track could careen towards pure metal, if not for a techno-like interlude in the middle to let the listener breathe in and out, before the band go mental on new reading of Würzel’s oldie “People Say I’m Crazy” and pour hectic punk attitude into the heady mix.
So the sarcasm of “Punch & Geordie” may be dry, but it hits rather hard, unlike “Feel Good” whose party vibe is as delightful as it gets for a gritty slice of boogie, contrasting insistent “The Killing Rain” that’s filled with rage. It’s a painful offering, of course, which sees the Orgasmatron gang virtually reunited, yet it’s sweet, too, to find their method perpetuating into the future.