Motörhead – Orgasmatron

I realize, even before starting to write today’s article, that this is about to be my third writeup in a row of an album with songs featured in a comedy that I love. Well, too late to stop me now, we’re going to talk about Motörhead’s 63rd album, from 1986, this is the awesomely named Orgasmatron:

Rather than trying to convey an image as abstract as an 'Orgasmatron', the artist decided to go with Lemmy's initial suggestion of, and I quote, 'a fucking train'.

The first thing you may notice as you throw this album into the player of your choice, that recording 78 albums has not slowed Motörhead down in the least. The lineup had almost completely changed from their early days where they recorded albums like Ace Of Spades, the only constant being the ever-present bassist/”vocalist” Lemmy Kilmister. Two really good guitarists made up the guitar army of the mid-80’s Motörhead, and unique to this album is the drumming of Pete Gill, who was otherwise known as 1 of the 2 drummers in The Glitter Band, who are known for that song. You know, That Song. Yeah, he’s that guy.

The other interesting thing about this film is that a couple of the songs from it were included in the 1987 film Eat The Rich, which is both one of my favorite comedies, but also one of my favorite B-movies. It’s an absurd British comedy starring the cast of The Young Ones and a rather eclectic group of musicians making cameos, and the soundtrack is entirely Motörhead music. It’s brilliant, I promise. The actual “Eat The Rich” song would actually appear in the album Rock N’ Roll, which I would be talking about, but we’re already talking about an album so why should I go back and change everything?

Anyways, back to Orgasmatron. The album starts off innocently enough with all the guitars being processed through some phase shifter and/or flanger, and they more or less stay that way throughout the song, interestingly called “Deaf Forever”. I say it’s interesting because it actually kind of gives the feel of how it must be to hear music this loud with your hearing impaired. Still, that might be a little high-concept for the likes of Motörhead, I mean Lemmy eats live rats for fun.

“Nothing Up My Sleeves”, like many Motörhead songs, starts off with the bass droning a single note, so that you are kind of expecting “Ace Of Spades”, but instead you just get a song that’s very similar in that way that only Motörhead can self-perpetuate. Still, the song is brilliant in its own right, and exactly who can complain about songs that sound like “Ace Of Spades”? Anyway the cool thing about having two lead guitarists in your band is double the solos, and Motörhead takes full advantage in this track.

“Ain’t My Crime” has a tricky-timing intro, but soon settles into a comfortable high-speed adrenaline-pumping beat, so don’t get all morose about that use of timing. You should maybe be more upset about the use of a major key in the chorus, but you’d be a pansy to do so. Motörhead are not afraid to rock in a major key, with vocal harmonies. They will rock it in such a way that, even if you were sitting alone in your room, you’d still get punched in the face.

“Claw” features some double-bass action, which despite its significance in metal music, is kind of a rarity in Motörhead’s music. I kind of like how one of the hooks of the songs is that everyone pretty much barks in the background while the song’s going on. This song is kind of crazy, like one feels that you are not properly listening to it unless you are also running for your life. Don’t ask me to explain this either, but here goes: the drums and bass are turned way down at about the 2 minute mark, and then slowly brought back up, for seemingly no reason! Hey Studio Guy, don’t take those drums away from us, don’t you see what this band is capable of doing to music? What do you think they’d do if they applied similar energy to your face and ass? One final note about the song: there is some way high-pitched vocal action going on here, and it’s excellent.

Just in case you thought, through listening to the song and through my colorful description up there, that the album couldn’t get any faster and harder than this, well you obviously haven’t listened ahead and heard “Mean Machine”. That’s right, this song turns the intensity up even further, and this time we don’t have to deal with the pesky drum-deadening. The old-school Motörhead sound replace that double-bass business, only the whole thing is taken up a notch by being faster than your typical Motörhead song, and the song contains actual screaming, which is kind of atypical since most Motörhead vocal performance is achieved through shouting. This album just keeps getting better and better!

Interestingly, “Built For Speed”, despite its name, is about average-speed, even kind of slow compared to the previous song. Still, what it lacks in breaking your neck it makes up for in breaking all of your other parts. This is one of the songs that appears in Eat The Rich, and I think just about any movie and in fact life in general would benefit immensely from its inclusion. The lyrics are an inspiration:

See me running all around the world
Trying to make some time
A million miles, a million girls
A million real good times

Don’t you listen to a single word
Against Rock ‘n’ Roll
The new religion, the electric church
The only way to go

I don’t give a good goddamn
My life’s been alright
I’m going crazy out of my mind
Every single night

Yes. If that isn’t Rock ‘N’ Roll then I’m a little afraid of what is.

“Ride With The Driver”, which was going to be the original name of the album (hence, the train that makes up the cover), is another impossibly fast free-fall of a song. I am not sure I can talk much more about this song without running some laps, so you’ll have to excuse my brevity.

Oh man, “Doctor Rock”, one of the most brilliant moments of Eat The Rich. It’s another song that features some amazing lyrics:

All right, all right
I hope you son of bitches see the light
You again, you again
I know you’ve got a mental age of ten
Listen up, listen up
I wouldn’t swap you for a thousand bucks
Come on, you’re the one
I think I’m going to switch your lazer on

This song has more of a swing to the drums, kind of like everything that rocks, but specifically some of my favorite songs like “Knights Of Cydonia” by Muse. It’s like that, only it’s Motörhead, so in a way that makes it better.

Anyway, rounding out another successful 87th album by Motörhead is the album’s title song. It’s a little sludgy but ranks up there with the best of the Devil’s music. The best part is that it has nothing to do with what you think it does, it’s just a song about a bunch of evil things and how evil they are. Still, as far as I can tell, that’s over 93 albums that this band has made over the years without slowing down once, and that’s pretty impressive by just about any standard.

Either way, you should check out this album, it’s one of the band’s best, I feel, and you should watch Eat The Rich while you’re at it. Until tomorrow!

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