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Motorhead - Under Cover

Under Cover
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 November 2017, 7:39 AM

R.I.P. to the original bad-ass Lemmy Kilmister. I hope that I don’t need an introduction for one of the most legendary UK Metal bands known as MOTORHEAD. Their Metal/Punk mash influence countless bands for the generations that followed them throughout their career. What a special chance here to listen to some cover songs from this group, reaching back to bands like RAINBOW, THE ROLLING STONES, THE SEX PISTOLS,  and JUDAS PRIEST, as well as tributes to bands that followed them, like THE RAMONES, DAVID BOWIE, OZZY, METALLICA, and TED NUGENT. Let’s get to this special collection of cover songs without any more delay.

I’ve always felt that “Breaking the Law” was a perhaps overrated and definitely overplayed JUDAS PRIEST song. The riff is just so trite and it doesn’t really shine vocally. But the lower range is perfect for Lemmy’s signature snarl. They bring a grounded energy to the song that is lacking in the original version. “God Save the Queen” is another winner. It has such an iconic riff and lyrics, and the trio here keep the cover very much like the original, but with their own twist at the same time. The BOWIE cover I wasn’t sure about at first. There is such a distinction in style between the two bands that the chasm seemed too large to bridge. But, what we can hear in this track is a genuine love of the song.

“Cat Stratch Fever” is another one of those overplayed songs with a riff that, while immediately recognizable, is just so elemental. However in this case, it’s Lemmy’s voice and Phil’s dirtier riff that bring the song to a better life. Nugent’s voice was always suspect anyway for me. I never cared for THE ROLLING STONES, but that riff in “Jumpin’ Jack Flash is just monumental. Again, what MOTORHEAD does here is bring their collective energy to revitalize a classic song in their style. “Hellraiser” is an OZZY cover from the “No More Tears” days. It’s a great song but might be one of the misses here on the album. No one can replicate that super fat and crunchy guitar tone of Zakk Wylde and that is one of the best components of the song. “Rockaway Beach” however works very well, and Lemmy even sings like Joey Ramone did. The punk anthem is perfectly covered here.

“Shoot Em Down” is a down and dirty cover of a TWISTED SISTER staple. The trio handle the melody and energy of the original in grand fashion. “Whiplash” is of course one of the prototypical early Thrash songs from the “Kill Em All” days of METALLICA. It fits well with MOTORHEAD because of the speedy nature of the song, and the fact that METALLICA took great influence from the band to begin with. Overall, this is a great collection of some diverse covers, as well as new versions of some of the most iconic Rock and Metal songs of our generation.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Breaking the Law
2. God Save the Queen
3. Heroes
4. Starstruck
5. Cat Scratch Fever
6. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
7. Sympathy for the Devil
8. Hellraiser
9. Rockaway Beach
10. Shoot Em Down
11. Whiplash
Lemmy Kilmister – Bass/Vox
Philip Campbell – Guitars
Mikkey Dee – Drums
Record Label: Silver Lining Records


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