Motörhead are an institution. Together since 1975, Aftershockis their twenty-first full-length album. Even more amazing, they’ve had the same lineup since 1992. Some might argue that the lack of fresh blood has caused the band to stagnate, with every album generally sounding the same. Others would argue that it’s what allows them to be so tight and proficient in their well-known style. Sure, the band has had their share of lackluster albums in their career, but find me a band who has been playing for over thirty-five years that hits the mark every time. What’s more surprising is the times that the three-piece gets things right. Aftershockis such an example. Sure, it sounds at first listen like most other Motörhead albums: galloping beats, nice guitar solos, and Lemmy’s gravely vocals. But there’s a catchy vibe to these songs. Motörhead have often been called a metal band, but metal bands don’t write hooks like this. It’s further proof of Lemmy’s interest in punk music, 1950s and early ‘60s rock music, and his understanding of what made many of those acts great. There are big riffs and a definite “heavy” sound, but these songs also get stuck in your head. And when that happens with a band like Motörhead, it’s nothing but fucking awesome. Sure, there are a few nitpicky things here (Lemmy’s vocals don’t sound quite as strong as they used to, the bass seems a little buried in the mix), but there are so many other great things on here (for example, the two slower numbers “Lost Woman Blues” and “Dust and Glass” provide a nice respite but also show the range of Motörhead’s influence) that Aftershockcan’t be seen as anything but a winner.