Another Perfect Day

Motörhead

Bronze Records, 1983

http://www.imotorhead.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/18/2000

N.B.: The version reviewed is the RoadRaced Revisited reissue.

By 1983, Motorhead was experiencing inner turmoil. Guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke had departed the band the year prior, not long after bassist/vocalist Lemmy Kilmister recorded a cover of "Stand By Your Man" with punk high priestess Wendy O. Williams. Clarke's departure was the first major lineup change since 1976, when Clarke joined the band and guitarist Larry Wallis left.

In was former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian "Robbo" Robertson, a musician who, in retrospect, was as out of place in Motorhead as Pee-Wee Herman at a rave party. Musically, his style was much different than the balls-to-the-wall blues/rock that Motorhead had been bashing out for nearly 10 years. Add to this the fact that Robertson refused to play some of Motorhead's classic songs in concert, and you knew that things had to get worse before they got better.

The one album Roberston recorded with Motorhead, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Another Perfect Day, is hardly the band's masterpiece - but it is also no waste of time. If anything, this could well be Motorhead's attempt to be Thin Lizzy - and, for the most part, the result is forgettable.

There are moments on this disc where things work out incredibly well. "One Track Mind" has a groove that refuses to die, and allows the band - Robertson, Kilmister and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - to really bring things to a musical head. Likewise, "I Got Mine" is a track that features Motorhead in a shuffle on speed, and it's a track that will have you banging your head in sheer pleasure.

These two tracks - featured on a home video released around the same time as Another Perfect Day - make me wonder why these tracks weren't featured on the eventual best-of No Remorse. "Shine" - a third song featured on the same home video - has never been one of my favorite Motorhead tracks, though there are enough people who get off on this one. The same goes with "Dancing On Your Grave," a track that almost has Kilmister wondering which direction the band is going in.

In a sense, Kilmister lost some control of the band, as the songs started to get more complex and - dare I say it? - pop-oriented. "Tales Of Glory" and "Another Perfect Day" are songs where you could almost hear Phil Lynott singing instead of the instantly-recognizable rasp of Kilmister. It definitely was a stylistic change for Motorhead - and it just didn't work. Even the throttle-down tracks like "Back At The Funny Farm" and "Die You Bastard" fail to hit the bullseye.

So was Robertson a mistake? Maybe, in one sense, he was just the thing Kilmister needed. In recent years, Motorhead has gotten more daring with their music, breaking out of the three-minute verse-chorus-verse patterns they based their career on and have taken risks such as ballads/acoustical numbers and all-out songwriting. Maybe, had Robinson not come through, this would have eventually happened. But what Robinson's addition to the band did do was it forced Motorhead to look at other musical options. It wasn't the right time in their history for such a change, though.

Another Perfect Day is not a terrible album, and is worth picking up to complete your discography of arguably the best British metal band to ever grunt across the planet. But if you're like me, you'll probably end up digging this one out every few years just to remind yourself of where Motorhead was immediately following Clarke's departure from the band.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bronze Records, and is used for informational purposes only.