1/ Deaf Forever (Motorhead) 4.26 2/ Nothing Up My Sleeve (Motorhead) 3.10 3/ Ain't My Crime (Motorhead) 3.43 4/ Claw (Motorhead) 3.34 5/ Mean Machine (Motorhead) 2.59 6/ Built For Speed (Motorhead) 4.56 7/ Riding With the Driver (Motorhead) 3.46 8/ Doctor Rock (Motorhead) 3.36 9/ Orgasmatron (Motorhead) 5.25 10/ On the Road (Live) (Motorhead) 4.59 11/ Steal Your Face (Live) (Motorhead) 4.15 12/ Claw (Alternative Version) (Motorhead) 3.31 Recorded at Master Rock Studios, London Produced, recorded and engineered by Bill Laswell and Jason CorsaroLemmy Kilmister: vocals, bass; Wurzel: guitar; Phil Campbell: guitar; Gill: drums.
1986 - Profile/GWR (USA), PAL-1223 (Vinyl) 1992 - Castle (UK), CLACD 283 (CD) 1999 - Metal-IS/Castle Music (USA), CMACD 525 (CD)Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.
Regardless of some of the potential pitfalls of being a band in transition and an unusual recording situation, Orgasmatron is still one of Motorhead's best albums of all, mostly due to the fantastic songs and quite appropriate performance of the band. With a twin guitar attack being utilized, Motorhead's music did indeed transform slightly to acknowledge that new things could be done but not so much that the band's motif was lost. Pete Gill offers a very competent performance on drums, though this would be his one and only studio appearance with the band (No Remorse tracks notwithstanding). Lemmy's vocals are varied, insomuch as this guy can actually vary his approach. "Orgasmatron" is snarled and angry, the raging "Ridin' with the Driver" is intense and over the top, while "Claw" is sinister and dirty. Quite a few of the songs have a stronger attack than the band had shown since their '79-81 heyday, with the aforementioned "Ridin' with the Driver" being on of their most aggressive songs to date. "Ain't My Crime" is a fun, rocking number while "Built For Speed" is simply the band's operational directive. The unfortunate part to this record that might put off some listeners is that the production squashes a lot of the sound into a bit more mush than Motorhead should have. All the instruments are audible, but are placed strangely in the mix. Considering Bill Laswell's ability in his vast number of other projects, this is an unexpected twist.
The reissued version of Orgasmatron does offer some rare goodies, including b-sides of singles from the era. "On the Road" is an early live version of "Built For Speed", which is identical to the studio version except for the chorus. "Steal Your Face" appears as a live track while the album closes out with a slightly different studio version of "Claw". Regardless of some its superficial flaws, Orgasmatron finds Motorhead alive and well in 1986, showing that rock'n'roll was still the fire that kept the band going, problems and transition phases be damned.
John Chedsey (courtesy of the Satan Stole My Teddybear website)
‘Orgasmatron’ was the first Motörhead album in three years after the excellent but largely misunderstood ‘Another Perfect Day’. A completely new line up (with the exception of Lemmy of course) and years of record company troubles meant the band really had something to prove and ‘Orgasmatron’ not only proved this point but it forced your brains through your nose in the process.
‘Orgasmatron’ shows a healthy balance of the bands signature rock ’n’ roll swagger with more experimental touches, as such this may be more preferable to fans who found ‘Another Perfect Day’ too far removed from the ‘Fast’ Eddie era. I do however have one point of contention with ‘Orgasmatron’, its mix is pretty bizarre. At times the guitars seem to disappear from the mix completely which is especially odd considering that what was then a newly twin guitar band should surely have more guitar, right? The actual production sound itself is fine with a particularly excellent drum sound…but the mix is as iffy as four week old seafood.
Performance wise the band play with a youthful exuberance of a band who know they can rock like bastards, but just haven’t been able to put it down to record yet. As such the ‘Orgasmatron’ displays a vitality and hunger that is essential to a great Motörhead record. Guitarist’s Würzel and Phil Campbell have distinctive yet complementary styles fitting within the established Motörhead mould but instantly recognisable. Würzel (along with being a scarecrow) is the more off the wall of the two relying on over the top bends, trills and even his fairly distinctive take on tapping, in all it makes for a great fun listen. Phil on the other hand is more reserved in his style, being more of a traditional blues rock base with a definite touch of class. In addition to this the pair fit in with the general tradition of Motörhead hell raising for instance Phil drank two bottles of vodka a day in the mid 80’s and Würzel listed his ambitions as getting up in the morning and drinking as much as he could…Gentlemen, I salute you! Other new boy here is Pete Gill ,of Saxon fame (or not), who is a great drummer with a pounding double bass sound. However, Pete proved to be a bit of an odd character (even by Motörhead standards!) who kept a note book with all kinds of bizarre things like ‘Phil Campbell owes me 50p’ and apparently enjoyed flashing himself in public. Lem, as always sounds like a plane taking off. But lyrically he puts down some truly excellent work, even by his own lofty standards. The title track happens to be everyone’s favourite set of Motörhead lyrics, focusing on the macabre side of organised religion which a finesse and elegance that few could match. But lyrical themes are varied and interesting from more darkness and horror in say ‘Deaf Forever’ to classy double entendres (no really, stay with me!) such as ‘Your magic circle ain't where's its at’ the circle would be the physiological effect of girls on men…women are sorcerers because they can give men an erection from a distance, magical prick teasers don’t y’know! Splendid, learn along with Lem.
‘Orgasmatron’ does featuring some new ideas for Motörhead. First of all they open with a mid paced number, eschewing the often used ploy (not only by Motörhead) of opening with a bit of speed metal. ‘Deaf Forever’ however is rather excellent number driven along by some deliciously simple riffs and rudimentary drum work (bare a few killer fills). The chorus is ridiculously catchy and I like the little shouty thing at the end of each line. The title track itself is built around a bass drone and although cut from the same cloth as ‘Deaf Forever’ it’s heavier, morbid and menacing. A truly haunting song condensing all the horror of thousands of years of plebiscite misery into…oh, about five and a half minutes. It’s written from an interesting perspective too, from kind of religion as a omnipresent and prevalent being looking at all the suffering its caused in glee. This is anti-organised religion lyrics done exceptionally well; eloquent and poetic without “God is gay, hail Satan!” Kerry Kingism’s.
But as always we do get are beloved straight-forward rockers and gee whiz aunt Mary aren’t their some corkers! ‘Dr Rock’ is a lively and bouncy number and a stalwart of their live set to this day. It’s got some nice lead bass work and doesn’t have a proper guitar solo but rather a noise that sounds like a helicopter…Jawsome! ‘Built For Speed’ is shining example of one of Lemmy’s many odes to the power, splendour and majesty of rock (which in fact is so majestic that one can use heroic diction). Musically, its got a drum intro to die for, some simply divine riffs (as in their simple and divine) and a nice trade off section, which Phil comes out trumps in by making a noise that goes like this *naw naw naw naw* , not that Würzel is slacking either. On the rest of the album we get lots of lovely straight forward loud, fast and furious rock ’n’ roll, all which are catchy. So it’s pretty clear ‘Orgasmatron’ is all out arse kicking rock album.
1986 may have been the year of thrash, but once again Motörhead proved there just isn’t a substitute for the new religion, the electric church…rock ’n’ roll. Let it live, let it live. Somewhat of an overlooked classic by the music press and some more casual Motörhead fans, ‘Orgasmatron’ is worthy of a place in any rock fans collection.
A National Acrobat (courtesy of the Metal Archives website)
Empyreal (courtesy of the Metal Crypt website)
In 1982 “Fast” Eddie Clarke gave way to new guitarist Brian Robertson, who played on 1983’s fantastic “Another Perfect Day”. Although he didn’t fit the band attitude-wise, to say the least, he added a new dimension to Motörhead’s sound. It was however the introduction of Phil Campbell and Wurzel in 1984, that enabled the band to record a few of their best albums. And this line-up started off with a bang, ‘cause the first thing the world heard of them was the single for one of the true Metal anthems of all time: “Killed By Death”.
I got to know this band in 1985 or 1986 and I think it was the video for this song that introduced me to them. (You know, Lemmy jumping out of a grave on a bike…) That was just the right time to come into touch with Motörhead, because they were just about to release their true masterpiece!
Many people seem to have a problem with the sound, but I still can’t relate to this. Yes, this is certainly no 80’s-Mutt-Lange-Million-Dollar-production, and maybe Bill Laswell didn’t even know how to produce that kind of music (even my 1997 reissue CD version has a few dropouts at the beginning of a few songs), but in the end, he managed to get a sound, that was raw as fuck - the kind of sound that, I guess, a lot of punk bands would kill for - plus he added a few small but effective details that put the finishing touches on a few songs, e.g. the drum sound before the chorus in “Claw” or at the beginning of “Mean Machine”.
This album shows Motörhead at their fiercest: Just listen to the completely out-of-time drumming at the beginning and at the end of the afore-mentioned “Mean Machine”, which sounds like Pete Gill running amok, or Lemmy’s insane screaming at the end of “Claw”, and you know what I mean.
From the 9 songs found on here, “Doctor Rock” is the only “lighter” one. The rest is fast or anthemic mid-tempo stuff. Motörhead seemed to have counted more on the mid-tempo tracks, as they took “Deaf Forever” and “Built For Speed” (renamed “On The Road”) for the single. The third slower one is the well-known title track; a song that, in my opinion, no band should ever try to cover. Although I don’t think that it’s better than the other tracks on here, it seems to be perfect as it is, as proven by all the bands that have tried to cover it (including Sepultura), but didn’t even come close to the intensity of the original.
This is basically a perfect album, and the only thing that prevents this album from getting a 100% rating is the (good, but not quite perfect) chorus of “Mean Machine”.
I’ve just realized that this album has recently been released as a double CD (2006), including a shitload of live tracks plus the songs that have already been on the 1997 re-release, i.e. the b-sides of the “Deaf Forever” 12” and an alternative version of “Claw”.
I’ve listened to this album many, many, many times during the past 20 years, but it just won’t wear out. “Orgasmatron” will always be one of the most important albums of my life, needless to say that it stands as one of the best albums ever made!
Warpig (courtesy of the Metal Archives website)