Even if speed limits had been posted throughout No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith, one of the most lethal live LPs ever recorded, Motörhead undoubtedly would have disregarded them all. Onstage, these rock ‘n’ roll renegades were above the law, as nobody could even hope to approach their velocity or intensity, and that amphetamine-fueled joyride through a clutch of classic songs from the legendary studio albums Overkill, Bomber, and Ace of Spades was as reckless and dangerous as a police chase.


Only one drawback: the quality of that recording, though fine for its day, is not exactly up to snuff, especially when compared to the pristine, high-definition sound and the vivid, colorful visuals of the recently released The World is Ours – Vol. 2 – Anyplace Crazy as Anywhere Else. The second in a series of amazing concert audio and video packages from an older, but no less ruthless, Motörhead, this furious, barnstorming set gives a full accounting of the band’s summer of 2011 performance at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany, plus a smattering of six smoldering tracks culled from their Sonisphere Festival gig that year and five more red-hot sonic embers left over from their Rock in Rio performance.

Dirty, desperate and shockingly loud, Motörhead’s classic lineup of Lemmy Kilmister, “Fast” Eddie Clarke and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor didn’t let up on the accelerator during No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith, and with their well-earned reputation as vice-ridden outlaws preceding them, that combination of balls-to-the-wall heavy metal and general nastiness certainly appealed to those who thumbed their noses at conventional morality. While not quite so fearsome anymore, the Motörhead of today, featuring Philip Campbell blazing away on guitar and Mikkey Dee’s muscular, clockwork drumming, could certainly give the old masters a run for their money, as any of the full-throttle, high-energy versions of “Iron Fist,” “Ace of Spades,” “I Know How to Die,” “Going to Brazil,” “Overkill” and “Over the Top” contained on The World is Ours – Vol. 2 will attest – each appearing multiple times. Some are rowdier takes than the rest, while others are most explosive or gritty, but all of them are performed with verve and snarling aggression.


As mean as ever, Motörhead hasn’t lost any of their swagger. Thick and heavy, “The Chase is Better Than the Catch,” “In the Name of Tragedy,” and “Killed By Death” swing by the neck like condemned men at the gallows, each guitar stroke filled with bad intent and growing more tumescent than the one before it. And what’s great about Motörhead is that when they announce they’ll be playing a new song from their latest album, like the frenzied “Rock Out” or the crunchy, quaking “The Thousand Names of God,” nobody dares to go running for the concession stand, because they’re just as powerful and compelling as anything Motörhead has ever done. Campbell, in particular, shows his versatility on “The Thousand Names of God” – his menacing riffs are pure evil and his solos are searing, while Dee puts on a drum solo exhibition later that is a monstrous mix of power and precision. And Lemmy … well, Lemmy is Lemmy, his gruff, growling voice ravaged by time and booze but oh so satisfying, while his violent, brawling bass playing is just as glorious as it was in Motörhead’s salad days.

There are so many reasons to love The World is Ours – Vol. 2 – Anyplace Crazy as Anywhere Else, from the knock-down-drag-out performances from a band’s that’s lost none of its potency, to the vibrant concert footage edited for optimum excitement and impactful audio that adds more sonic punch to the mix than is absolutely necessary – although it certainly is appreciated. Loved by punks and metalheads alike, Motörhead still plays rock ‘n’ roll at a time when the hard-rock scene could use a defibrillator. Though they’ll never be welcome in respectable society, Lemmy and his band of merry mischief-makers are just the men to bring it back to life.


Label: UDR (CD+DVD, Deluxe Edition can be purchased here)