Overkill is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK hard rock/ metal act Motörhead. The album was released in March 1979 by Bronze. Motörhead had made an impact with their self-titled debut album which was released in September 1977 but that was nothing against the waves created by Overkill. Overkill is the album that really put Motörhead on the map.
The combination of filthy bluesy rock´n´roll, punky rythms and hard rock´n´heavy metal that has been Motörhead´s trademark right from the start of their career, works like a charm on Overkill. The songwriting is top notch and actually pretty varied within the confines of the band´s style and the musicianship is intense. The hunger to succeed is audible to say the least. The band possess a fierce badass attitude which is also more than obvious when listening to the wild and intense performances of the songs. Now I often talk about bands giving their all, spitting and sweating blood and how much attitude means to music. Well look no further, this is the real deal. Pure undiluted and authentic to the max, Motörhead are going to kick your ass.
Out of the 10 tracks on the 34:25 minute long album, at least 5 or 6 tracks can be considered "classic" Motörhead songs. Songs that they have played again and again on stage and still do to this day. I´ll mention the opening title track, Stay Clean, Capricorn, No Class, Damage Case and Metropolis as sure "classics" in the band´s repetoire but the rest of the songs are also high class compositions. Most songs are pretty straight forward and simple structured vers/ chorus based, but how they swing and what energy on display. It´s impossible to sit still while listening to Overkill. When listening to the album I tend to find myself either headbanging like a madman or playing air guitar like a lunatic. That´s what this album does to me. I just can´t control myself. There are a few things out of the ordinary on the album like the double bass drums in the title track and the ending to that song with its extended soloing and also the bass solo in Stay Clean shows that Motörhead had more tricks up their sleeve than the average hard rock/ metal act. Songs like Capricorn and Metropolis are also great for the variation on the album. The latter has an almost epic atmosphere to it.
The production is filthy and raw. The sound suits the music perfectly.
Overkill is THE Motörhead album for my money, and when people who are new to Motörhead ask where to start listening, I always point towards Overkill as the best starting place. The album is filled to the brim with memorable songs and intense playing. Add to that the badass attitude of the band and there´s your explosive cocktail. Overkill is a seminal and extremely influential heavy rock/ metal album from the seventies and just about the epitome of Motörhead´s sound and therefore a 5 star rating is fully deserved.