“Overkill” was a big step forward from Motorhead’s eponymous debut, it cemented the group’s famous sound, and it features the classics “Metropolis,” “Stay Clean,” “No Class,” and the title track. But nearly every song on here is a hit, and these songs will tattoo themselves to your brain after only one listen. The beats are ultra infectious and rhythmic, and are laden with irresistable hooks, and the songs are composed of fast, memorable, groovey riffs, bouncy drum patterns, grumbling bass notes, and gruff vocals.
The album begins with one of the best. “Overkill” (the title track) is driven by a propulsive, fast, thumping, speed-punk drum beat, and is complimented with a very catchy guitar line and a wailing guitar solo. The album continues with “Stay Clean,” which features wah-wah guitars and a chorus you’ll have bouncing around your head for days. Later on, “No Class,” which has a toe-tapping rhythm, is a concert and fan favorite, and “Damage Case” boasts a pair of fairly long solos and another unforgettable chorus. Track eight, “Tear Ya Down,” has some almost breathtakingly awesome guitar work, and, likewise, “Metropolis” has five wailing solos; and “Limb From Limb” is highlighted by humming riffs, crashing drums, and three speaker-shredding solos.
If you get the remastered edition of this album (which you should and most likely will), five extra tracks are included, including two b-sides (“Too Late, Too Late” and “Like A Nightmare”), as well as an instrumental version of “Tear Ya Down,” and two covers of “Louie Louie” (both of which are as catchy–maybe even catchier–than the original).
So, 1980’s “Ace of Spades” may have catapulted Motorhead into superstardom and the mainstream, but their second album, 1979’s “Overkill,” was their first classic (which is arguably as great as “Ace of Spades”). If you consider yourself any kind of Motorhead, speed metal, or heavy metal fan, this disc is a must.