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Overnight Sensation

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Overnight Sensation
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: October 15th, 1996
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy
1. Civil War
2. Crazy Like A Fox
3. I Don't Believe A Word
4. Eat The Gun
6. Love Can't Buy You Money
7. Broken
8. Them Not Me
9. Murder Show
10. Shake The World
11. Listen To Your Heart


Review by Felix on December 29, 2019.

Even four years after Lemmy’s last drink (on earth), one question is still unanswered. That’s surprising, because the relevance of this open issue cannot be over-estimated. Who the hell is the man in the center of the cover? A goddamned beardless doppelganger of Lemmy? Must be something like that, I guess. Anyway, Overnight Sensation, probably the most ironical or even cynical album title of Motörhead, is no album that needed an ugly artwork to be overlooked. Back in 1996, Motörhead and everything else that called itself metal was totally out. Okay, there were some obviously imbecile children in Norway that entertained a small circle of probably equally insane creatures with a crude mix of noise, suicide and murder. But a movement whose main protagonists were mostly criminals could not last very long, right? So, one could be happy that Lemmy tried to hold high the banner of real metal - even before Darkthrone’s Fenriz had opened the doors to the altar of the eponymous church.

But Norway aside, the presumably shabbiest trio in the history of our music offered eleven tracks that gave a little hope in the dark times of metal. The most unusual song is “I Don’t Believe a Word”, a semi-ballad and a kind of trivial backyard drama with well-hung guitar lines and a multiple Lemmy who accompanies himself while singing both the frustrated lead vocals and the pretty consumptive background choirs. Anyway, Lemmy here proved once again that it does not need a powerful, well-developed voice to sound charismatic. By contrast, the faster songs did not offer much room for expressive vocals – and there were some pieces that gave full speed ahead. Motörhead were flirting with speed metal in tracks like “Civil War”, “Shoot That Gun” or “Them Not Me”. Of course, their albums had never been known for inextricable complexity and in these short and poisonous outbursts Motörhead made clear what they could do best. Nevertheless, Overnight Sensation does not put all its eggs in one basket. “Broken”, for example, is a casual headbanger that surprises with an earworm-chorus. We can assume that Lemmy had found out relatively early in his life that melodies can make a song better, but mostly he preferred to keep this finding private. Given this situation, “Broken” marks a welcome exception.

Overnight Sensation was neither an album that catapulted the reputation of the band into new dizzying heights nor did it cause any kind of damage. Even the pretty superfluous harmonica in “Crazy Like a Fox” is endurable. During their entire career, Motörhead had been an authentic unit and the here presented album underlines this due to its non-experimental character. On the other hand, this means that the full-length is prone to run-of-the-mill tracks from time to time. Of course, the manual dexterity is out of question and to be honest, Mikkey Dee’s drumming is not that difficult – but technical flawlessness alone has never shaped a good tune. Aside from this self-evident fact, the album with the surprisingly conciliatory closer (a soft yet acceptable song) fulfilled its mission, because it came as a more than sufficient sign of life; both Motörhead and heavy metal were still living. And as if this hadn’t been enough, Lemmy added another very important statement in the booklet, a message of barely assessable implications. “Lemmy Sez: Blah Blah Woof Woofa.” Frankly speaking, he was simply right. As always. And of course, I agree. Especially to Woofa. Rest in peace, hero of the four strings. Can’t say that I miss you every day, but the history of metal without your contribution in terms of music, lyrics and attitude is hardly imaginable.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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