Released via Motorhead Music on September 1st 2017, Under Cover, as the title suggests is a studio album of cover songs from Motorhead. A few of these tracks are previously available on earlier albums but with this release they are all together and features a previously unheard song.
All eleven featured here are a mixed bag as opener ‘Breaking The Law’ sounds great even with one guitar, not the two in Judas Priest and Lemmy’s snarled vocal suits the song subject perfectly. ‘God Save The Queen’ is given a gnarly makeover, once again Lemmy’s vocal gives the song an extra edge. Motorhead tackling a Ronnie James Dio era Rainbow song? Yep, and they do a sturdy take on ‘Starstruck’. Lead vocals are handled by Biff Byford with Lemmy singing the choruses. ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ is a bit of a letdown but a cloud in the silver lining comes from Phil Campbell’s guitar solos. The main riff for ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ is heavily nailed backed by a laid back lead vocal.
The Rolling Stones vibe continues with a menacing ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, with an almost whispered vocal and piercing lead guitar solos. ‘Hellraiser’ is another letdown, Lemmy co wrote it with Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde. I never liked it back in 1992 and the song does not appeal to me in the present day. The power is restored by a turbo charged ‘Rockaway Beach’ and the band lose none of the enduring melody of the Ramones classic. The memory of Twisted Sister is kept alive with a crunching ‘Shoot ‘Em Down’, featuring some serious pounding from Mikkey Dee. Album closer ‘Whiplash’ is the fastest and heaviest number here that earned them a Grammy in 2005 for ‘Best Metal Performance’ and you can see why as they tear it up, proving how tight they played. Lemmy cheekily ends the song with “Never stop, never quit, we are Motorhead”!
My personal highlight though is a previously unreleased stunning cover of ‘Heroes’. Recorded during the sessions for their final studio album Bad Magic in 2015, I had it on repeat play a few times as haunting guitar lines provide the foil for a jaw dropping, emotional Lemmy vocal. The song title fittingly sums up the sadly missed Lemmy and David Bowie.
Under Cover is available on CD Digipak, 180gram gatefold sleeve black vinyl, digital audio, MFiT Audio and a super deluxe box set consisting of the CD, vinyl and VIP guest pass.
Under Cover album track listing :-
Breaking The Law.
God Save The Queen.
Cat Scratch Fever.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
Sympathy For The Devil.
Shoot ‘Em Down.