Monday, September 29, 2014

Motörhead, "R.A.M.O.N.E.S."

I'm a U2 fan, and I have not been enjoying the bad press they've gotten for Songs of Innocence's rollout. Tyler the Creator's meltdown and the applause he got for it represents American at its privileged worst--that's what you're getting mad about, kids? A free album from the world's biggest band in your media player (or, as Bono put it, "junk mail")?

However, as a U2 fan I hold them to high standards, and on initial listens Songs of Innocence does not reach them. First single "The Miracle of Joey Ramone" feels like a self-conscious effort from a media giant to hold onto its increasingly distant punk roots. It's more in line with a major rock star yelling "I'm not Justin Bieber" than anything on Rocket to Russia.

The best tribute to the Ramones remains this song, from another punk and metal pioneer.

Like the Ramones, Motörhead made an entire career off basically one fast, loud and catchy song, rewriting it album after album with mind-blowing consistency (other than AC/DC, there isn't another band that has gotten away with it for so long). On their excellent 1991 release 1916, Lemmy and the gang became one of the only bands to pull off a successful Ramones impression, honoring them with a song the Ramones liked so much they ended up covering it (with Dee Dee on lead vocals). Gabba gabba, see them go.

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