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On 29th November 1993 the British heavy metal band Motorhead returned to what they do best with their album Bastards, originally to be titled "Devils". This was later to be changed to the slightly more controversial title "Bastards" which is not meant in the vulgar term but merely as a reference to a child born out of wedlock. After their last album "March or Die" which was a very commercial and toned down form of the band, it is good to hear them returning to full force with this album.
At the time of recording the band consisted of the following members;
Lemmy Kilmister - Bass guitar and Vocals
Phil Cambell - Guitar
Wurzel - Guitar
Mikkey Dee - Drums
1. On your Feet or On your Knees
The album's opening track kicks off full tilt with the band playing as fast as their little hands will allow them too. The guitar work sets a blistering pace which is continued through the rest of the album.
Ok so the first track on the album was quick but in comparsion to "Burner" it sounds like the band was half asleep at the time. Mikkey Dee's drum work through the entire song sounds exhausting just to listen to yet alone try to play along with.
3. Death or Glory
The relentless pace carries on as Lemmy sings of the life and deaths of various soldiers through the history of war. The mid section of the song has an almost military marching sound to it.
4. I am the Sword
The pace of the album slows down a bit to give us all a breather, however the sheer aggression of the song more than makes up for this slightly slower tempo.
5. Born to Raise Hell
Perhaps the most famous song off of the album, and the first single to be released from the album. However the single version differs to this version slightly in the fact that Lemmy sings on the album version on his own. Whilst the single version also includes the vocal talents of Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe and Ice-T. The song featured at the start of the Brendan Frasier film "Airheads" in which Lemmy makes a cameo appearance and also over the ending credits for the film "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth".
6. Don't let Daddy Kiss Me
Reported as one of Lemmy's favourite songs that he has written he had previously asked such rock singers as Lita Ford and Joan Jett to record the song, but in the end went ahead and recorded the song himself. This song really shows a completely different side the band as the electric guitars and fast pace speed of the rest of their tracks is put to one side and a much more emotional and touching song about a very difficult subject is covered. The songs theme is about child sexual abuse despite the songs theme this makes for a really great song and personally one of my all time favourite Motorhead songs.
7. Bad Woman
The pace picks straight back up from where it left off with a really rocky style feel to the song and even going as far as incorporating some piano work in the background of the song. Not only does the pace of the album change with this song but the track sounds really positive in comparison to the previous song and almost jolly.
Motorhead don't always need to provide a blistering pace to the songs to gain the sheer power to the music and "Liar" is a great example of this. Just like their older song "Orgasmatron" it just chugs along and really delivers a cracking track.
9. Lost in The Ozone
Once again the album takes a more mellow outlook with this track unlike "Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me" this track does still keep a lot of the heavy guitar work already present on the rest of the album but provides them in a much more relaxed and laid back style.
10. I'm The Man
All in all a really funky style guitar and bass line to this track with some rather odd but strangely thought provoking lyrics to it.
11. We Bring The Shame
The heavy style and pace of the band kicks back in with full force as this song builds up towards the final track of the album. The guitar work during the intro and the verses is pretty cool sounding and Lemmy's voice during the chorus just makes you want to join in.
An absolutely cracking track to end the album off with. Unlike the rest of the album and certainly most of Motorhead's entire discography this song is somewhat of an epic for them weighing in at over 6 minutes which may not sound like much, but when compared to the average Motorhead song length of around 3 minutes it's quite a departure. Despite its length though the song is fantastic and does not drag or feel like it's been padded out in anyway.
13. Jumping Jack Flash
If like me you get the edition of this album with the bonus song on it you will be in for a pleasant surprise as Lemmy takes on The Stones with this rendition of their ever popular track "Jumping Jack Flash". Ok so Lemmy's unlikely to be seen strutting across the stage ala Jagger but this track certain makes for some quality listening.
Overall this is one of Motorhead's finest albums to date and definitely worth a listen to if you are into rock music but have never taken the time out to listen to some of their material.
Bastards by Motorhead is a classic album released by the band in 1993, rockin' lyrics and varied styles from the anthem type Born to Raise Hell, to the hard rock bluesy sounding Bad Woman with a great use of piano.
Motorhead are excellent at plucking out tracks with their well used formula of short and catchy Ramones like lyrics to very hard and fast rock n roll with of course the husky Lemmy belting out the words. Bastards is a great one though because there's a lot of variation in the tracks, the lyrics are clever, a good example is Death or Glory that speeds it's way through history detailing conflicts. The guitar riffs are infectious and some of the solos melt your ears. Liar has a wall of music sound where there's not a minute of silence but a lot of quiet dark guitar playing, well timed drumming and Lemmy's voice booming out like Satan himself (I imagine..!). On top of this there is the spooky Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me and standard good Motorhead sounding tracks like I am The Sword and I'm The Man, as well as the more chilled out We Bring the Shake and Devils.
There is not a single bad track on this album and even the cover of the Rolling Stones Jumpin' Jack flash is very worthy. Buy it up, it's varied and enjoyable.
1. On Your Feet or on Your Knees - Motörhead, Burston, Michael
2. Burner - Motörhead, Burston, Michael
3. Death or Glory
4. I Am the Sword
5. Born to Raise Hell
6. Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me
7. Bad Woman
9. Lost in the Ozone
10. I'm the Man - Motörhead, Kilmister
11. We Bring the Shake
13. Jumpin' Jack Flash - Motörhead, Jagger, Mick
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
3 Death Or Glory
4 I Am The Sword
5 Born To Raise Hell
6 Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me
7 Bad Woman
9 Lost In The Ozone
10 I'm The Man
11 We Bring The Shake
13 Jumpin' Jack Flash