Hammered, Motörhead's latest album, is the best thing the band has done since 1996's Overnight Sensation. Far beyond merely reassuring fans the trio hasn't gone soft, it proves that Motörhead is harder than just about any band in rock. Younger acts may rivet together more complex riff scaffolding, but Motörhead built the bridge between punk, metal, and rock and roll almost three decades ago, and it's not going away anytime soon.
One thing that's helped Lemmy Kilmister and crew keep their music brutal and addictive is stability. The current lineup (Mikkey Dee on drums and Phil Campbell on guitar) has been together for nearly seven years, longer than the "classic" lineup (Kilmister, Fast Eddie Clarke on guitar, and Philthy Animal Taylor on drums) lasted. It's a hell of a force, too. Dee's drumming is lethally precise, and Campbell's guitar solos are well placed and perfectly suited to the songs. Lemmy's bass is more than an anchor; he plays it like a second guitar, leading the ensemble from below. It all works to make Motörhead like AC/DC or ZZ Top: It does only one thing, but it does it better than anybody else on the planet. We should all hope Motörhead keeps on doing it for a long, long time to come.