Everything Louder Than Everyone Else


CMC International Records, 1999


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Motorhead might just be the metal act that has the most live albums out. Starting with 1978's What's Words Worth (I don't even know if it's still available) to 1981's landmark No Sleep Till Hammersmith, from their "comeback" show documented on The Birthday Party to a "stopgap" effort with No Sleep At All, the one thing that has been missing all along is a feeling of natural progression as the songs unfold.

Lemmy Kilmister and crew's fifth (at least that I have counted) live album (and their first two-disc effort), Everything Louder Than Everyone Else, does make you feel like you're listening to the show from note one to the ending fedback. If only the performances were up to par.

Recorded in Hamburg, Germany last year, Kilmister, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mickey Dee do a good job in selecting songs from both the band's classic period (when "Fast" Eddie Clarke and Phil "The Animal" Taylor were in the band) to recent efforts like my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Snake Bite Love and Overnight Sensation. In one sense, you could say that Everything Louder Than Everyone Else is the live equivalent to the 1984 best-of No Remorse.

But what I'm struck by is that the influence of former guitarist Wurzel is sorely missed in concert. Nothing against Campbell's guitar work, but without the anchor of a second guitar in the lineup, it sometimes seems like Campbell and Kilmister sound crowded when it comes time to plunk out some fancy work. While I admit this is a bit hypocritical on my part (after all, Motorhead was a trio for the longest time), the performances here occasionally sound sloppy - something I think could have been fixed with another instrument to keep things in check.

There are some powerful moments on Everything Louder Than Everyone Else, such as Kilmister's tribute to the late Wendy O. Williams (who had committed suicide a few weeks before this concert was recorded) before "No Class," the all-guns blazing attitude heard on tracks like "Sacrifice" and "Ace Of Spades", and the interplay between the audience, Kilmister and Campbell.

But some of the versions may leave a rather weird taste in your mouth. I, for one, have always loved the controlled evil of "Orgasmatron," but the song just doesn't have the same kind of antipated terror live. Likewise, "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees" and "Metropolis" (which I have yet to hear translated well on the stage) fall a bit flat.

In fact, it almost seems that Motorhead has gotten to the point where the live performances are rote exercises, and whether they play the songs sloppily or not doesn't matter as long as the energy level is up there. As much as I love Motorhead and have since discovering them in 1985 (Gimme a friggin' break, I lived in the suburbs), it hurts me to have to say: guys, that's not how it works.

Everything Louder Than Everyone Else is not a terrible album - and it is a far cry better than No Sleep At All - but for my dollar, Motorhead has yet to capture the excitement of The Birthday Party.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 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 CMC International Records, and is used for informational purposes only.