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Review: Genius in music is one part talent, one part knowledge of the art, and one part study habits, and Motorhead have only laid down on the job for the last part of the equation. Groundbreaking albums like "Overkill" and "Orgasmatron" were amazing at their peaks, and mundane in their valleys, suggesting an initial impetus running afoul of slack behavior and distracting personal habits, ending with material being patched together in the studio or right before. As a result, songs that redefined the world of metal stand next to stuff too insubstantial to insulate paper for shipping. "1916" turns savagely against that past failing and stays to the thorny narrow path of making songs for listeners, which carefully incubated have more melodic hook and consistency than previous albums.
Although it runs the gamut from hypercaffeinated roadhouse rock to ballads to mid-paced metal that borrows as much from punk and speed metal as Motorhead's past, these new songs hit hard and stick with the listener much as any classic pop should do. Defiant masterpieces like "Angel City" and "No Voices in the Sky" capture the metal spirit as much as any Motorhead tracks, but the use of minor key vocal melodies melding carelessly into disharmonic choruses marks this as prescient to the coming genre of alternative and grunge. As if carefully edited by a master, this album presents the best of classic Motorhead with a renewed dedication to make songs to tear up the radio and the eardrum alike, and as of this writing, is the best effort from Motorhead's later career.