|Review: Motörhead - Iron Fist|
Label: Bronze Records
Year released: 1982
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 20, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (6 Votes)
Iron Fist is the fifth (if you had asked Lemmy) or sixth (if you count On Parole, released in 1979 but recorded in 1975, shelved by the label and the majority of tracks re-recorded by the band and released on their self-titled "debut" album in 1977) full-length album from Motörhead, released in 1982. It is the last Motörhead album to feature the classic lineup of Fast Eddie Clarke, Lemmy and Philthy Animal Taylor. It is patently a Motörhead record with Lemmy's bass providing both the bottom end and rhythm guitars, Taylor's wild drumming and Clarke's signature lead work. It was released on the heels of Ace of Spades and No Sleep 'til Hammersmith and it is clear they were trying to cash in on those albums' success.
"Iron Fist" is the "hit," the only track Lemmy felt strong enough to include on the No Remorse compilation. It is very much in the "Ace of Spades" mold with a driving bass line opening the song, a quick tempo and supremely catchy chorus. After that, the songs are less impressive, though still following templates drawn up for Ace of Spades. "America" has a storyline similar to "(We Are) The Roadcrew" and "Speedfreak" possesses the same buzzing riffs and double-kick drumming of "The Hammer," however neither are as entertaining. In fact, most of the songs, while clearly Motörhead through and through, feel forced, and the band's performance is somewhat wooden. It is no secret that Clarke was getting restless after five years of albums and touring and the band agreed to let him coproduce Iron Fist, resulting in a more technically solid sound but one that lacked the unhinged energy of past efforts. It wasn't until Clarke left and former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson joined that this particular direction the band was heading in bore fruit in the superlative Another Perfect Day, but that's another album.
Honestly, when it comes to heavy metal, you can do almost no wrong with any Motörhead album. They are all good in one way or another, yet Iron Fist, as the capstone to the classic lineup, falls short of what the band achieved on their prior records. It's an album to have in the collection, just one you might not go back to that often.
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