For a long time it seemed that Motörhead could only make great albums with Cameron Webb as their producer. From "Inferno" in 2004 and all the way to "The Wörld Is Yours" in 2010 we had four albums that all kicked ass. Some kicked more ass than others, but all of them had killer tracks and two of them were even bloody excellent: "Kiss Of Death"  and "Motörizer" . Well, I guess it couldn't go on forever, every now and then even Motörhead has to release a half-bad album.
"Aftershock" has 14 tracks and you are never in doubt thru it's 47 minutes runtime - this is Motörhead all the way. You should however wonder what they did with the production. It sounds kinda muddy or flat. Somehow it sounds like most high frequencies have been filtered out. I certainly don't like this sound. It's nowhere near as bad as the horrible sound on "Sacrifice"  but it sure ain't perfect either. It just doesn't compare well to any of the other Webb produced Motörhead albums - all of them having great sound.
Another just as important problem is the song quality. Some of the songs sound a bit uninspired and would only have qualified as fillers on other Motörhead albums. Lemmy even sounds a bit tired, to be honest, which is fair enough, given his recent serious health problems, but his voice lacks a bit of power here. Luckily Phil Campbell is still a master of his 6 string weapons and he rocks the best he can. He can't save the below par songs all by himself though (even with the help from Lemmy and Mikkey), but he sure as fuck tries really hard.
When the Motörhead machine hammers it's way thru a fast song like "End of Time" then it rocks without a doubt. That could be said for many of the songs on the new album. But there just ain't enough memorable songs that have that special something that makes a song stand out. Motörhead could make a billion songs like those found on this album and they have already done that many times before.
In all fairness - even a half-bad Motörhead album still has a lot of charm to it and many other bands couldn't come up with anything of near the same quality even if their lives depended upon it. Maybe I only like the new album less because I've liked the latest run of Motörhead albums so much. I have no problem listening to it from beginning to end though, but I'm quite sure it will never become a favorite of mine.
My two favorite songs on the album are both songs that don't sound like the rest of the lot. "Lost Woman Blues" is like it says a blues and a fine one too. "Dust And Glass" has Lemmy singing with his most emotional voice he uses on rare occasions. It gives the song a special thoughtful feel and I really like it - different is definitely good here. Funnily enough, both of these songs were written by Phil (with lyrics by Lemmy.)
As was also the case with the album before this one, the album is available in a limited edition Classic Rock package where you get a 132 page magazine, a poster and a car sticker together with the cd. The magazine is a great read, but the cd sadly doesn't come with lyrics. I'm not sure if I'll get the vinyl this time. I've been unimpressed with the mastering for recent Motörhead vinyls and I fear this may happen again. No point in getting the vinyl unless it sounds great. Well, I'll look into that later.