Built For Speed – A Motörhead Tribute – Review

Built For Speed

A Motörhead Tribute (Victory)
by Jon Sarre

True story, exactly a week after I receieved this Victory Records comp in the mail, this old stoner/hesher lookin’ guy walked into the bar I work at and ordered a “bourbon’n’coke.” He looked pretty road-weary, this gent, and I wondered what was up. Then he asked in a guttural Brit accent if I had “any Maker’s Mark back there, mate?” I put it all together, Motörhead was in town, they were playing ’round the corner.

“Excuse me, sir,” I asked, oddly polite, “Might you be Lemmy Kilmeister?”

“That I am,” he answered.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lemmy. Drinks are on me.”

Apparently Lemmy owns this very Built For Speed tribute, but busy man he is, hasn’t quite gotten around to listening to the whole thing yet. But then again, he also said the best songs in the world were written by someone other than him. Still, Motörhead deserves a tribute record, if for no other reason than “why the hell not?”. If someone’s gonna pay for a Siouxsie and the Banshees or an early ’80s salute to not having to write and record yer own songs, why not Lemmy and the boys? Victory gets a thumbs up here for trying to get diverse with the talent, cuz it’d be just too easy to find a buncha bands to go alongside Electric Frankenstein and Zeke and do basically note-for-note covers with Kilmeisteresque vocals (they do “We Are The Road Crew” and “I’ll Be Your Sister,” respectively).

The only other bands on the comp who come up with the full-bore “Motörhead sound” are Fahrenheit 451, who keep “No Class” faithful, ‘cept their singer sounds like he’s doin’ heavy metal kareoke and sorta, Speedealer, who do “Motörhead” like just Motörhead, but more, uh, speedy. Best arrangement prize goes to the Dropkick Murphys for credible oversimplification on “Rock and Roll” – slap beat and economic use of guitar bursts all taken over-the-top by the sore throat growls of guest yeller Dickey Barrett. Groovie Ghoulies shine as well in their NoCal punk-tation of “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” Terra Firma (ex-Saint Vitus folk) go easy-listening on yer ass as singer Lord Chritus warbles “Bomber” like he’s Glenn Danzig on the Less Than Zero soundtrack – oddly intriguing.

Less appealing on Built For Speed is Blood For Blood‘s “Ace Of Spades” (a great fuckin’ song that shoulda been done by a psychobilly band) – their hardcore-circa now with loads of whohs and a brief rapalude on the “Gamblin’s for fools” part just doesn’t work. Skarhead‘s “Sweet Revenge” is sludgy post-hiphophardcore with “fat beats” that sound like Roland the drum machine came out of the retirement he’s been in since Big Black broke up. Integrity makes “Orgasmatron” boring by makin’ it sound like a 45 rpm record played 33 speed and Chrome Locust‘s “Metropolis” shows ex-D Generation members’ affinity for the hardstuff and little else. C’mon guys, what would Lemmy think about that?
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