Archive for November 28, 2013

Insider – “Event Horizon” (Andruid Records 2013, AR 001, CD)

Italian heavy rockers Insider’s last album, released late last year and titled Vibrations From The Tapes, was a set of instrumental psychedelic improvisations. Event Horizon is their new album is the first set of composed pieces since 2005’s Simple Water Drops, so halle-fuckin’-lujah!! The band are still the trio of Marco Ranalli on electric and acoustic guitars and synths, Piero Ranalli on bass, and Stefano Di Rito on drums. The album includes 8 instrumental tracks in just under an hour.

Escape Velocity opens the set and consists of Stoner-Metal with a Prog rock edge. The music jams hard but there’s enough intensity, interesting melodic guitar and bass development and thematic shifts to keep this 7 minute track engaging. I also like the wah’d psych guitar dueling with the metal leads. Magnetic Field Lines starts off like a stoned version of Red-era King Crimson, and then transitions to a tastefully melodic and nicely spaced out Prog infused heavy rocker. Gravitational Mass alternates between a stoned and doomy vibe and a more upbeat tempo with seductive and uplifting melodies. I like the schizophrenic thematic twists and turns on this one. The feel good melodies within a Prog influenced Stoner-Metal context continues on Jet, and we’re treated to some fun and freaky space electronics near the finale. The title track is a short piece featuring pastoral acoustic guitar combined with HIGH intensity meteor shower space effects. I really dig the crazy contrast on this tune.

The entire album is about never staying in one place at the same time, but the 9 minute Expansion Of The Universe makes it explicit by listing 6 parts: Inertia > Quantum Fluctuations > Development Of Galaxies > Dark Energy > Synthesis Of Elements > The Present Universe. The spirit of heavy King Crimson rears its lovely head again, but we’ve also got Proggy keyboards, while the guitars remain firmly in hard rocking Stoner-Prog territory. This sucker ROCKS! Black Hole morphs between heavy Psych rock, spacey King Crimson and majestic Stoner-Prog. And White Hole is a Stoner-Metal jam with cool twiddling keyboard patterns at the beginning and heavier keyboards later.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the term Stoner-Prog before, but that’s what comes to mind as I consider the heavy riffage, thoughtful melodies, and compositional complexity that exceeds what I typically hear from the average Stoner band. But that’s just one reference and it would be wrong to label Insider a Stoner band anyway. In short, if you like your music on heavy side, with touches of Space Rock and Psychedelia, and a Prog-like consideration for thematic development, then Event Horizon is right up your alley.

For more information visit the Andruid Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Carlton Melton – “Always Even” (Agitated Records 2013, CD/LP)

The latest from Northern California based Carlton Melton is a 5-track, 37 minute set available on CD and vinyl LP (black or green). Dig that killer cover art. The opening track, Slow Wake, couldn’t be more appropriately titled, as it consists of dreamily floating and totally trippy, dual guitar driven psychedelic atmosphere creation and mood alteration. Keeping On is next and gets into more aggressive space rocking territory, with one guitar cranking out intense strums and leads, the other trippily bubbling along, and a synth melody injecting an added dose of Kosmiche. The music sails along smoothly until after the four minute mark when everything explodes in a slow but monstrously spaced out psychedelic stew. Spiderwebs is another cosmically psychedelic ambient exploration. Sarsen is my favorite track of the set, being a high energy rocker with motorik drumming, searing acid-drone guitar, spaced out licks and alien synth effects, making for a killer jam that’s like a combination of Krautrock and new millennium Chrome. Finally, The Splurge is a stoned and droned exploration that chugs along at a valium-like pace, with creepy atmospherics and space-angst guitars.

Overall, Always Even is relatively short but enjoyable set and I like the combination of heaviness and ambience across the tracks. Along with bands like Vespero, Electric Moon, and Oresund Space Collective, Carlton Melton are among my favorites of the contemporary improvisational space rock bands. Also note that on April 13, 2014, Carlton Melton will be making their second appearance at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

For more information visit the Carlton Melton web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Verde – “Petoviha” (Karkia Mistika Records 2013, CD)

I was introduced to Finnish musician Mika Rintala years ago through his work with Jussi Lehtisalo’s Ektro world of bands, including Circle, Lehtisalofamily, and Ektroverde (the latter being more or less a collaboration between Mika and Jussi), and then many albums of Mika’s own Verde project. An electrical engineer by trade, Mika has built a fascinating array of electronic instruments that are works of art AND functional. CLICK HERE to see a few that were in a gallery that I included with a 2001 interview in AI #14). Also CLICK HERE to see a recent video Mika posted on YouTube touring his amazing studio.

Petoviha is the latest Verde album, and includes numerous guests on percussion, French horn, viola de gamba (a 15th century bowed/fretted/string instrument), jouhikko (a traditional Finnish 2 or 3 stringed instrument), and other homemade Finnish traditional instruments. Put Petoviha in the Google translator and you’ll get “anger beast”, to which Mika adds “wild beast hatred” and “carnivore hatred”. More specifically, the theme of the album is Mika’s commentary on Finnish hunters who dislike carnivorous wild animals, partly due to the competition between man and beast for deer and rabbits.

Having heard quite a bit of Mika’s work over the years I was struck by prominence of traditional instruments. The combination of jazz and orchestral music with space electronics and sounds samples is fascinating, making for a compelling 70 minutes of music. The experience is difficult to describe so I’ll just share my freeform thoughts in an attempt to communicate a flavor of what all the mixing, morphing and blending is like across the 12 tracks that make up Petoviha. Among the highlights is Dekatronilokki, on which syncopated, harsh machinery electronic patterns duel with what sounds like a gaggle of chimpanzees howling in harmony. Susiaalinen Media features wild free-jazz improv, with frenzied drumming, guitar and keys, experimental manipulation of instruments, and intense electronics. Terassipeto elinvoimainen starts with sounds of nature, leading into a trippy Middle Eastern theme mixed with jazz, whimsical jaw-harp and space-ambience. Petoviha consists of dark, somber orchestral horns, a moody soloing bass, slowly spiraling electronic waves, and the sound of water splashing against the shore. On Vaarantunut naamakirjanarkomaani, stringed instruments create a passionately intense theme as the music chugs along at a choppy, stumbling, but steady rhythmic pace, like some kind of zombie robot orchestra, surrounded by floating and fluttering spacey keys. Hukka sukka has an interesting blend of wryd-folk acoustic guitar and dark, cinematic space electronics. Arvioimatta jätetty has a heart wrenchingly beautiful string melody surrounded by bee swarm alien electronics. My two favorite tracks are Kekkonen and Salametsästäjä, which back-to-back make for the best 18 minutes of the set. Kekkonen kicks off with water splashing and birds chirping, leading into multiple layers of robotic electronics, including efx’d voice and light jazz drumming, eventually building up to a mixture of Sun Ra styled jazz, soundscapes, sundry natural sounds, plus an avant-electronic melody and oddball rhythmic groove. And Salametsästäjä consists of haunting yet delightfully freaky space electronics combined with jazzy horn and percussion led orchestration, anchored by a throbbing repetitive electro pulse, waves of floating space-ambience, and all manner of fun frenzied and crazed electronic sounds crop up throughout.

In summary, Petoviha is one of the most challenging albums I’ve heard from Verde, and it’s the musical, electronic and sound sample combinations that kept me coming back for more. If you’re at all intrigued by what I’ve described, check this out. New treasures will be discovered on each repeated listen.

For more information visit the Verde web site at:
Visit the Karkia Mistika Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Manthra Dei – Manthra Dei (Acid Cosmonaut Records 2013, ACD-003)

I love when a band can combine different genres in such a seamless way that no single song can be defined as a specific type. It’s almost like creating a whole new kind of music. Italy’s Manthra Dei pull that off beautifully on their self-titled debut album, merging space rock, stoner rock and progressive styles into a psychedelic brew that will have your head spinning.

Perfect example is the 11-minute opening track, Stone Face, with its grungy desert riffing coming from guitarist Paolo Vacchelli, offset by the complex whirlwind rhythm play of bassist Branislav Ruzicic and drummer Michele Crepaldi. You already have something that goes beyond standard stoner rock here, but throw in some weird spacey effects and the pulsing, progressive keywork of Paolo Tognazzi on organ and synths and you’ve got a real powerhouse of sound on your hands.

And so it goes throughout the album, this perfect blending, from the heavy, thundering rock of Xolotl to the 70’s retroblast of Legendary Lamb (this track also featuring melodic vocal harmonies) to the reverent and stately organ of Urjammer. In fact, and no slight intended towards the other musicians who are all excellent, but it’s really Tognazzi’s superb keyboard playing that gives Manthra Dei its unique sound. The tracks are drenched in beautiful, acidic organ whether it’s the spacey effects laden passages of Xolotl or the energetic arpeggios of Stone Face, the mix allows the keyboard to shine and be the star through much of the album.

Things really and truly come together on the nearly 18-minute monster Blue Phantom. It opens with nearly 4-minutes of trippy, Floydian style ambience, all cymbal swells, sustained organ notes and freaky guitar effects, before it explodes into a swirling, delirious heavy psych jam that eventually leads into a very cool mellower passage with a mystical Middle Eastern vibe to it and a haunting melody that sounds like it’s played on a glockenspiel. Totally cool. The piece finishes with a mind blowing finale of crunching guitars, frantic rhythms and those sublime, arpeggiating keyboards.

The album’s not over yet though. The proceedings close with a gentle acoustic reprise of Stone Face, which makes me wish a little that they’d woven some of that acoustic playing into the other songs as well. Nonetheless, Manthra Dei, the album, is great from start to finish; an album that can unite stoner rock fans, space rock fans and fans of progressive music. There is much to love here and it’s well worth checking out.

For more info, visit:, and

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

Crystal Jacqueline – “Sun Arise” (Mega Dodo 2013, CD)

My introduction to UK based Crystal Jacqueline was the 3-song 7″ from Fruits de Mer Records released earlier this year, on which she served up three tasty covers of psychedelic songs from the 60s. Jacqueline is also the singer and keyboardist in The Honey Pot, whose To The Edge Of The World album was released in 2012 and is an impressive set of 60s inspired pop-psych and garage rock (with some great retro orchestrations).

Jacqueline’s debut solo album consists of a dozen songs, both originals and covers. There’s lots of variety throughout the album, and while the pop-psych of The Honey Pot is present, there’s much more going on than that. Spacey psychedelia mixed with dirty Blues is the name of the game on the title track that opens the set. Dream 1 is a dancey rhythmic rocker with trippy contrasting guitar leads. Who Do You Love is a beautiful dreamy psychedelic pop song that’s 60s inspired but with a modern, rather than retro feel. By The Way is an angelic song with an interesting blend of medieval folk and Celtic influenced orchestration, fun freaky effects, and some of Jacqueline’s most passionate vocals of the set. I Break is a stripped down acoustic tune. Of the original songs, my two favorites are Alice and Light Is Love. Alice features scrumptiously lysergic float-on-a-cloud spaced out folky pop-psych, and I love the combination of space-slide guitar and orchestration. Light Is Love starts off as a mind-bending avant-psych song with heavily efx’d guitar, before launching into a high energy pop-psych rocker with a funky tripped out groove and some of the coolest efx’d guitar leads on the album. Nice!

Jacqueline goes for an interesting cross section in her choice of covers. The three songs from the Fruits de Mer 7″ are here. The Troggs’ Cousin Jane is a gently whispering and lightly orchestrated song and the polar opposite of that band’s best known hit. I like the dark piano lead and surreal synth melody, and Jacqueline’s voice is perfectly suited to anything with a 60s flavor. Jacqueline take the whimsical Prog-Psych of Second Hand’s 1968 song A Fairy Tale and gives it an edgier opening guitar segment, a much more psyched out solo later in the song, and makes it all happen at a faster and more energetic pace. The Rolling Stones’ Play With Fire is both hauntingly dreamy and intense, and I like the combination of bubbly psych guitar leads, acoustic guitar, piano and spacey symphonic keys. In Jacqueline’s hands, Gordon Lightfoot’s Sundown becomes a dark and dreamy orchestrated psych rocker. But my hands down favorite of the covers is the psychedelic take on Fly A Kite. YES, from the Mary Poppins movie! This is by no means a stretch in terms of song choice because it could be argued that ‘ol Walt’s flicks had more than a few psychedelic moments in them, however unintentional it may have been. The song begins as a lulling and oh so slightly acidic dreamy number, later launching into a heavier rocker with freaky warbling, wah’d and spacey guitar, plus a ripping lead once we’re in full majestic rock mode, before returning to the introductory lull for the finale. Wow, what a great example of taking a song out of its known context and completely reinterpreting it.

In summary, this is an impressive and intriguingly varied set of songs. The production and arrangements are very good and I like the mixture of originals and covers. It can be risky including so many covers on an album but Jacqueline, for the most part, takes the originals and does a good job of putting her own spin on them. The album is out on CD, but I see on Jacqueline’s Facebook page that a Kickstarter campaign was just successfully completed to have Sun Arise pressed in a vinyl edition.

For more information visit the Mega Dodo web site at:
Streaming and ordering is available at:
Stream and order The Honey Pot album To The Edge Of The World at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Census of Hallucinations – “Coming Of The Unicorn” (Stone Premonitions 2013, SPCD075)

Census of Hallucinations’ second release of 2013 travels a different path than its predecessor. Released in July, Spirit of Yellow consisted of reinterpretations of 13 songs from the Stone Premonitions catalog. Quoting from the press release for the album – “The quest to nail down definitive versions of Stone Premonitions’ better known songs was fueled in part by the possibilities for different interpretations to be culled from new members. And, for the authors, the thoughtful reflection of living with a song for many years can inspire an entirely different perspective with the benefit of hindsight. Tim [Jones] was further motivated by access to better technology in the digital domain, as songs that had great performances when they were originally recorded were not necessarily good quality recordings.”

Having been immersed in nearly the entire Stone Premonitions catalog for many years now, Spirit of Yellow was an interesting listen for me, though in some cases I couldn’t tear myself away from the originals. The new album – Coming of the Unicorn – does in a couple cases draw on the spirit of existing songs, but is largely characterized by the unique Space Rock/Psychedelia/Progressive Rock and song combination that has made the band so special over the years.

Joining Census of Hallucinations and Stone Premonitions label founders Tim Jones and Terri~B on this outing are John Simms from Clear Blue Sky on guitar, guitar synthesizer and bass, Maxine Marten on vocals, Stone Premonitions veterans Paddi and Dave Pipkin on drums and Steve Ellis on keyboards, plus guests Michael Steadman (programming), Kingsley burns (bass), and Mike Forse (backing vocals) on a few tracks.

The album opens with Something That Affects All People, an intense introductory soundscape instrumental with deep, cavernous ambience, space-prog keys, “Space Ritual” effects, and guitar that is both rocking and spaced out. This segues into Only Time Will Tell, which draws inspiration from Mountain Climbing, a song originally recorded with Tim and Terri’s band, The Rabbit’s Hat, as well as appearing on earlier Census of Hallucinations albums. Here it’s taken into an entirely different direction, being a rhythmic, gently rocking yet cosmically floating song, with guitar that is both rocking and psychedelically mind-bending, plus space electronics and classic, swooning Stone Premonitions vocals. As Within So Without dives back into space, consisting of ultra trippy soundscapes and effects combined with slow, brain massage guitar solos, all supported by an energetic rhythmic pulse. Put The Head On is a majestic heavy rocking space-prog instrumental with killer guitar. This is followed by the playfully mind-bending The Unicorn Is Coming, melting smoothly into Stars, which takes the Census of Hallucinations space classic My God, It’s Full Of Stars and sends it hurtling into a new rocking dimension, without losing the hypnotic exploratory elements. Miracle is a spirited, uplifting, space jazzy soulful vocal number. Electroid is a short, high powered instrumental that leads into the hip shakin’, cool groovin’, space Blues rockin’ Crystal Spheres Of Light. UFO Over Penrith is a spacey trippy interlude that sets the stage for Love You True, with its dreamily passionate and soulful vocals. The album concludes in deep space, with the brief Existential Vertigo and, finally, As Within So Without (Slight Return), a cosmic freakout that closes the set.

In summary, Coming Of The Unicorn represents Census of Hallucinations at their spaced out best. The album is largely instrumental, but the vocal numbers are well placed, making for a 13 track set that flows seamlessly from beginning to end. I’ll also add that while Tim Jones is a gifted guitarist, adding the incredibly talented John Simms on guitar enriches the music by bringing together two distinct yet complimentary musical personalities. And as with all Stone Premonitions releases, everything is masterfully crafted in the studio. Coming Of The Unicorn has also given me a better appreciation for the more song-oriented Spirit of Yellow. Taken together, the two albums, though very different from one another, represent everything that drew me to the Stone Premonitions world in the first place.

For more information visit the Stone Premonitions web site at:
(Disclaimer: I host the Stone Premonitions web site as a fan and admirer and do not “represent” the label in any official capacity)
Visit the Stone Premonitions web shop at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

The Guild Navigators – “Red Vision 7″ (CGMEADIA / Overlord Records 2013, CDEP/Digital Download, ORCD12)

A bit of background… The Ohio based Guild Navigators have been around since the early 90s and headed up by Chris “Freak Spaceley” Mead. Further out West, Jet Jaguar were launched in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2001 by Charles Van de Kree. Both have their own catalog of releases, but the two joined forces in 2008 for a split CD titled Jet Jaguar vs. The Guild Navigators Deathrace Beyond The Stars, and Mead and Van de Kree had the opportunity to meet and record together in 2009 during the brief period when the latter was teaching in Columbus, Ohio.

I knew the two had collaborated and have been chompin’ at the bit ever since to hear the results, which we now have available on this all too brief CDEP, billed to The Guild Navigators and and recorded by the quartet of Mead on guitar, vocals, sampler and FX, Van de Kree on guitar, synths and audio generator, Stinky on drums and Tony Chaffin on bass. I’ve heard some outstanding examples in recent years of metal infused space rock, but precious little punk inspired Spacecore, and that’s exactly The Guild Navigators deliver.

Red Vision 7 opens with swirling space synths and mission control voice samples, before launching into a scorched Earth space-thrashing assault. The music rocks out relentlessly and the electronics blaze away like the War of the Worlds is truly upon us. Mead’s vocals remind me of Marc Power with Born to Go, a band that Mead and anyone who attended the old Strange Daze Space Rock festivals will fondly remember. This is followed by a cover of Hawkwind’s Master Of The Universe that is so ass-kicking it just might bring a tear to the eyes of the song’s originators. Escape Warp Transmission is a brief freaked out transitional piece that puts the listener in a frightening launch pad, and leads into the final song, Glimmer, an easy-paced but monstrously intense space rocker with sci-fi keys and spacious chainsaw guitars and groove that reminds me of Farflung.

Crap!! I’m diggin’ this BIG time and before you know it it’s over. We need to get Mead and Van de Kree back together for a full album.

There’s no web site yet but email either Charles Van de Kree at or Chris Mead at They’re also still sorting out digital download availability so you can ask them about that too.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Papir meets Electric Moon – “The Papermoon Sessions” (Sulatron Records 2013, ST1303, CD/LP)

Germany meets Denmark in space? Yes, Danish space/psych rockers Papir and Germany’s Electric Moon couldn’t be more well suited for some collaborative jamming, which is precisely what happened in Copenhagen’s Dragens Hule on August 9, 2012, a meeting that resulted in this new CD/LP from Sulatron Records. Oh, and Mogens from Oresund Space Collective also joined in on synths.

The album opens with the 16 minute Farewell Mr. Space Echo, which begins dreamily subdued. I like the dual guitars, with one slowly soloing and the other fluttering away, surrounded by soundscapes and electronic effects. The intensity level builds at a steady pace until reaching a cool spaced out groove that finds a pleasant compromise between rocking out and mood/atmosphere creation. The guitars weave and wind an exploratory yet determined acidic drone and bubbling psychedelic path, and when the one guitar goes into screaming soul stirring solo mode the band are in full blown lysergic space rocking splendor. Next up is the 6 minute head swimming melodic journey, Red Dust. And wrapping up the set is the 21 minute epic The Circle, which kicks off fully rocking with a nice bit of grungy boogie swagger. Then near the 4 minute mark the jamming abruptly recedes and we’re off in exploratory ambient territory, with anguished spaced out guitar licks, a falling star synth, and tension fraught percussion. The music trips along, building high energy momentum and creating a killer combination of acidic psychedelic space rock, cosmic doom and melodic mind massage.

If you enjoy improvised instrumental space rock then The Papermoon Sessions is one of the better examples I’ve heard this year. These musicians really gelled with one another. The album is available in CD and LP versions and the LP comes in an edition of 500 black and 500 red vinyl. Also note that this lineup will perform at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands on April 13, 2014.

For more information visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
Visit the Papir web site at:
Visit the Electric Moon web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Krautzone – “Kosmische Rituale” (Sulatron Records 2013, ST1304, LP)

If the band name and album title is already causing a tickle in your ear and some gleeful anticipation, then let me add fuel to the fire by telling you that Krautzone is the gathering of German musicians from various space/psych bands for a bit a free-wheeling jamming that is documented on this vinyl LP. We’ve got Sula Bassana (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on synths, Komet Lulu (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on drums, Modulfix (Zone Six, The Spacelords) on synths, Rainer Neeff (The Pancakes, Zone Six) on guitar, Onkel on bass, and Baba Lali is credited with cosmic atmosphere producing and dancing.

Side A opens with the nearly 13 minute Liebe, which begins with a spacey, atmospheric combination of guitar, synths and percussion, like early Pink Floyd meets Tangerine Dream. The drums maintain a slow, steady orchestral/tribal thump, and Rainer lays down authoritative yet emotive guitar licks, as Sula and Modulfix create soundscapes and a variety of colorful alien effects. As we pass the halfway mark, Lulu picks up the percussive pace and the synths kick in a windswept rush, while Rainer continues his acid-Gilmour solos. It’s a beautifully image inducing excursion with a soundtrack-like narrative feel. A similar theme continues on the 9 minute title track, with varied synth work including drones, oscillations, and diving/darting effects. Side B consists of one long piece, the nearly 21 minute Only Fools Rush In, a high intensity rocker that sweeps us into hypnotic, droning, acid-space. The music gets gradually faster as the track progresses, and an increasingly frenzied tripped out tribal groove sets in, like some pagan (Kosmische!) ritual in space. YES, this album is most appropriately titled, and though there are three tracks, this sucker should be enjoyed in its entirety with one’s head firmly and comfortably encased in headphones. Turn out the lights and dust off that lava lamp.

For more information visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
Stream the album at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Motörhead – “Aftershock” (CD/LP/Download, UDR label, 2013)

Lemmy & his Motörhead march on in their 38th year of existence, and this time around the threesome deliver the 2013 effort they have christened Aftershock. Zoom and Mikkey are still onboard in the most stable line up ever, lasting for 20 years, and also the most commercially successful lineup. Lemmy should be no stranger to AI readers as they know him from his bass and vocal duties aboard the spaceship Hawkwind from 1972-1975, having hijacked their most successful single by removing Robert Calvert’s vocals and recording Lemmy’s instead and releasing it as the single we know as Silver Machine in 1972, Hawkwind’s only Top 3 single or record ever. He even used the bandname “Motörhead” from a Hawkwind song he recorded as the B-side to the Kings Of Speed 7″ single in 1975 right before getting the boot, as most Hawkwind fans also are very well aware of!! Many classic musicians have passed through Motörhead’s ranks, from the early days with Larry Wallis, Lucas Fox, Philthy Animal Taylor, Fast Eddie Clarke, Brian “Robbo” Robertson and Würzel (R.I.P.). Their last handful of albums have been quite consistently good, from Kiss Of Death (2006), Motörizer” (2008) to The Wörld Is Yours (2010), all outstanding and varied records from the sleek modern Trio.

So, Aftershock then. 14 new blistering rock’n’roll songs, while Lemmy himself has suffered health problems and had to cancel European dates on Motörhead’s tour for this record. He has even promised to live a healthier lifestyle, according to press releases and interviews. Can one imagine? No Jack and Coke or 60 cigs a day? Celery sticks and Smoothies instead mayhap? Yögahead? Only time will tell. I couldn’t wait to hear the new album, so I ordered the advance Classic Rock “Fanpack” with an amazing magazine, a sticker and a poster with the CD mounted on the package. On first spin nothing jumped out and grabbed me like on the previous albums I mentioned. They all had at least 2-3 super catchy rockin’ tunes on each CD that immediately grabbed me. Aftershock seems to be missing an element of “surprise”. Its no news that Lemmy is an extremely intelligent and experienced old bastard, who can write a great song to boot. Lemmy always gets the last word in any interview and fans in recent years have proclaimed him as “God”! Another thing is that Motörhead sell tons of albums, debuting high in the charts worldwide each album and sell out tours. They have become an Institution of themselves, and deliver what is expected, yet never “sell out” or “compromise”. Such is Aftershock. I had a best pal back in Art school 20 years ago who used to bring his collection of AC/DC, Ramones and Motörhead CDs and tapes to our house. If there ever was a “Holy Trinity” of this type of “basic” punk/metal fusion those three bands could very well rule the roost. They deliver what’s expected, never sell out or compromise, and are always quality. And they are Rock’n’Roll to the bone for those of us who live that lifestyle. It will never make you less or weaker to “carry on”. Cameron Webb is once again producing, and the cover art is by Norwegian painter Terje Aspmo. It looks fantastic, and we get Lemmy’s Tim Burton’esque doodles in the booklet. Lemmy the artist, goes with the official Motörhead wine. Songs like Coup De Grace, Silence When You Speak To Me, Dust And Glass, Going To Mexico, Crying Shame, Keep Your Powder Dry, Paralyzed and Knife are all standard punk-blues-metal that Lemmy & Co. deliver. We never expect anything new, they deliver the goods. Stand out tracks on the album are the fast riffy End Of Time” and Going To Mexico, the thoughtfully crafted lyrics to Do You Believe (which are typical Lemmy fare and advice), the slow atmospheric Dust And Glass (kind of like the classic old Motörhead track Born To Lose), the badboy rock’n’roll of Crying Shame, the tat-tat-tat punky Queen Of The Damned, the and the speedmetal sounding closer Paralyzed. I just feel like there are no “grand surprises” here like on the last handful of albums. I like it, I have just heard this before. It’s only Rock’n’Roll, and thats a lifetime achievement in itself. Viva Motörhead! A solid 8 out of 10 point effort, I am just not blown away this time, but I’m sure I will be next time, down that long and winding road.

For more information visit and

Reviewed by Christian Eric Mumford