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Biker metal (also known as biker punk)[1] is a fusion genre that combines elements of punk rock, heavy metal, rock and roll and blues, that was pioneered in the late-1970s to early-1980s in England and the United States, by Motörhead, Plasmatics, Anti-Nowhere League and Girlschool.

Contents

CharacteristicsEdit

 
Lemmy of biker metal band Motörhead.

Biker metal has been described as being influenced by punk rock, rock and roll, heavy metal[2][3] and blues.[4] Sleazegrinder, a writer at Classic Rock, described biker metal as "glam metal gone Mad Max".[5]

Biker metal is characterized by its mid-tempo approach to metal, its "gritty and American" sound, and its alignment with biker culture as a whole.[6] The genre has been contrasted with slower and more operatic forms of metal, such as Judas Priest's work in the early 2000s.[7] Similarly, biker metal eschews the speed and virtuosity that rose to prominence in the 1980s.[8]

Bands such as Black Moth, Orange Goblin, The Obsessed, Earthride and Black Label Society have been described as fusing the style with doom metal,[n 1] whereas Clutch have been described as merging elements of biker metal and Southern rock into their stoner rock sound.[14] Black Sabbath's song Paranoid has been considered a classic of the genre.[15][16] Biker metal has proven influential to genres ranging from speed metal to hardcore punk and crust punk, and was integeral to the development extreme metal,[2][1] Giuseppe Sbrana, of Botswanan heavy metal band Skinflint, has stated that biker metal bands were heavily influential on the aesthetic of African heavy metal bands.[17]

TerminologyEdit

The association with biker culture has been present for most of heavy metal and punk rock's lifetime: Thin Lizzy were photographed frequently with motorcycles stretching, as far back as 1973; Joan Jett appeared on the cover of Outlaw Biker Magazine; Judas Priest used a biker image beginning in mid-1970s, however also borrowed heavily from sadomasochism;[18][19][20] and the common dressing style of metalheads is closely tied to that of those in biker gangs.[21] Spin hails Motörhead's lead vocalist Lemmy, as the first to bring motorcycle culture into punk rock and heavy metal, likely through the influence of earlier rock bands such as Steppenwolf, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Grateful Dead;[20] an early use of the term "heavy metal" was even present in Steppenwolf's 1968 song Born to Be Wild, in reference to a motorcycle.[22]

List of bandsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Smith, E.R. Extreme Metal: The Story of Punk and Metal's Interwoven History.
  2. ^ a b c Popoff, Martin (2017). Speed Metal.
  3. ^ Gaines, Donna. Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids. p. 191.
  4. ^ a b WIEDERHORN, JON (24 March 2017). "39 YEARS AGO: MOTORHEAD PAVED THE WAY FOR THRASH WITH SECOND ALBUM 'OVERKILL'". Loudwire. Retrieved 23 September 2018. With their 1977 self-titled debut, Motörhead opened the floodgates for a new style of bluesy, bombastic biker metal, but two years later, on March 24, 1979, they rewrote the rule book altogether with the more urgent, combustive Overkill.
  5. ^ a b Grinder, Sleaze (7 March 2016). "Flash Metal Suicide: Steve Jones". Classic Rock. Retrieved 23 September 2018. So naturally, Jones wanted to keep the motor revving. And as we rolled into the last gasp of the 80s, biker metal was where it was at. COP, Warrior Soul, Zodiac Mindwarp, Spread Eagle, Horse London, Two Bit Thief, The Cult, Four Horsemen, I mean, everybody had long hair and dangling earrings and black biker boots and snorted whiskey and guzzled gasoline in ‘89. Biker metal was glam metal gone Mad Max, basically, and 1989 was truly the Year of Manly Living.
  6. ^ Epstein, Dan; Bienstock, Richard; Shteamer, Hank; Krovatin, Christopher; Grow, Cory; Hudak, Joseph (29 December 2015). "Motorhead's Lemmy: 20 Essential Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 July 2019. A herald of the laid-back biker metal of the band's latter years, "Born to Raise Hell" is a Motörhead classic lacking any pretense.
  7. ^ McIver, Joel (2008). The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. p. 120. ISBN 9781906002206.
  8. ^ McIver, Joel (2009). To Live is to Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton. Jawbone Press. p. 85. ISBN 9781906002244.
  9. ^ a b BIENSTOCK, RICHARD. "25 Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2016". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Former Ozzy Osbourne guitar man Zakk Wylde spends most of his time these days churning out doomy biker metal with Black Label Society
  10. ^ a b Dome, Malcolm. "Orange Goblin/Karma To Burn/Black Moth at Electric Ballroom, London live review". Classic Rock. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  11. ^ Kelly, Kim. "Live: A Week in Metal at SXSW". The Fader. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b Law, Sam. "SIX THINGS WE LEARNED AT DESERTFEST 2018". Kerrang!. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  13. ^ Yardley, Miranda. "BAND OF THE DAY: BIKER DOOM LORDS EARTHRIDE". Terrorizer. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  14. ^ McIntyre, Ken. "How Clutch threw out the rules and made metal music their own". Classic Rock. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  15. ^ BIENSTOCK, RICHARD (September 18, 2018). "SEE TYPE O NEGATIVE'S MASSIVE, MELANCHOLIC LIVE COVER OF BLACK SABBATH'S "PARANOID"". Retrieved 23 September 2018. Seeing as Type O Negative are the band that brought heavy-metal doom to goth rock, it's no surprise that they were huge Sabbath fans. And while their best-known Sabbath cover is "Black Sabbath," from the original '94 Nativity in Black tribute album, a few years earlier (it was tacked on as a bonus cut to 1992's "live" album The Origin of the Feces) they took on the Sab's biker-metal classic "Paranoid," turning into a very Type O–esque dirge.
  16. ^ Bienstock, Richard (February 11, 2016). "10 Epic Live Black Sabbath Covers". Guitar World. Retrieved 23 September 2018. And while their best-known Sabbath cover is “Black Sabbath,” from the original ’94 'Nativity in Black' tribute album, a few years earlier (it was tacked on as a bonus cut to 1992’s “live” album ‘The Origin of the Feces’) they took on the Sab’s biker metal classic “Paranoid,” turning into a very Type O-esque dirge.
  17. ^ Marshall, Frank (31 March 2011). "Botswana's Cowboy Metalheads". Vice Media. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Also many metalheads in Botswana are cowboys from the villages and farms, so they mix the cowboy image with a biker metal look
  18. ^ Cope, Andrew L. (115). Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music. Routledge.
  19. ^ Bayer, Gerd. Heavy Metal Music in Britain. p. 136.
  20. ^ a b Gaines, Donna. "Biker Metal". Spin.
  21. ^ Clifford-Napoleone, Amber R. Queerness in Heavy Metal Music: Metal Bent. p. 33.
  22. ^ Broadus Browne, Ray; Browne, Pat. The Guide to United States Popular Culture. p. 373.
  23. ^ Grinder, Sleaze. "Flash Metal Suicide: The Almighty". Classic Rock. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Otherwise, it’s state of the art biker metal, right down to the ridiculous hollow-drum production.
  24. ^ DISTEFANO, ALEX (May 16, 2014). "TSOL and Anti-Nowhere League – The Observatory – May 16, 2014". OC Weekly.
  25. ^ "Ozzfest 2002". Spin.
  26. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Chrome Division" (Press release).
  27. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (24 July 2006). "CHROME DIVISION - DOOMSDAY ROCK 'N ROLL". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. Retrieved 23 September 2018. The theme is biker metal, along the lines of Motorhead and Tank meets Turbonegro
  28. ^ Gardner, Noel (2016). "The Sound Of Impact: Noise Rock In 1986". The Quietus. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Which maybe means that it’s High Rise who don’t belong here… nah, this is zero parallel sense-strafing rock & roll demolition and it deserves to be blasted from every conceivable platform. They used to go by the name Psychedelic Speed Freaks (keeping it for their record label) and it’s hard to put it better than that: freeform biker metal blaze with half-submerged vocals and no real beginning or end.
  29. ^ a b McIver, Joel. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
  30. ^ Beaumont, Mark (5 August 2016). "Girlschool - Nightmare At Maple Cross / Take A Bite album review". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Failing to graduate alongside contemporaries Motörhead and Maiden, come 1986 they went looking for rejuvenation in their biker metal roots.
  31. ^ Grinder, Sleaze (9 December 2016). "Cult Heroes: The Godz - the crazed story of America's great lost biker band". Classic Rock. Retrieved 23 September 2018. After writing a fistful of screeching biker metal anthems, the band hit the road.
  32. ^ MCCAFFREY, RYAN. "RYAN MCCAFFREY'S TOP 50 GAMES OF ALL TIME". IGN. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Its mix of a dystopian Western setting, Schafer’s brilliant writing, gorgeous art direction, a stellar biker-metal soundtrack by The Gone Jackals that was so good I bought the album, and a remarkable voice cast (including a hell of a turn by Mark Hamill as the villainous Adrian Ripburger) made for an unforgettable ride that I still fire up every year or so
  33. ^ ""Spin" Goes Back To Beck". Idolator. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Then he read the text, and learned that Kath used to be known as Ethan Deth, bassist for the biker-metal band Kill Cheerleader.
  34. ^ WISE, LAUREN. "The 21 Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2013". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Georgia's pretty damn good at producing great stoner sludge metal: In addition to Mastodon and Baroness there's Kylesa, who fuses basement punk and biker metal on Ultraviolet.
  35. ^ McIntyre, Ken. "Almost Famous: Five brilliant 90s bands who shoulda been huge. But weren't". Classic Rock. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  36. ^ Plowman, Alec. "How Metallica Could Have Saved "Load" and "Reload"". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Retrieved 23 September 2018. The albums weren’t thrash, but the greasy biker-metal sound the band mostly went for wasn’t a complete sonic deviation either.
  37. ^ WIEDERHORN, JON (2017). "20 YEARS AGO: METALLICA LOCK AND 'RELOAD'". Loudwire. Retrieved 23 September 2018. Reload, by contrast, was more experimental, blending biker metal, southern rock and unconventional arrangements into a bracing batch of songs that were familiar, but refreshingly adventurous.
  38. ^ Prato, Greg. "Motorhead". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 September 2018. But still, there's no denying how important and influential this biker metal band has been
  39. ^ EPSTEIN, DAN. "Motorhead's Lemmy: 20 Essential Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 September 2018. A herald of the laid-back biker metal of the band's latter years, "Born to Raise Hell" is a Motörhead classic lacking any pretense.
  40. ^ Reynolds, Simon. The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion, and Rock 'n' Roll. Serpent's Tail. p. 107.
  41. ^ Armitage, Ian. Motorhead - Uncensored On the Record.
  42. ^ Berelian, Essi (2005). The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal. Rough Guides. p. 203.
  43. ^ Jones, Martin. Lover, Buggers, and Thieves. Headpress. p. 63.
  44. ^ "The Hair Metal 100: Ranking the '80s Greatest Glam Bands, Part 2". VH1. Retrieved 23 September 2018. One of glam's most fascinating misfires, the diabolically decadent Sea Hags soared up out of pre-grunge Seattle and landed in thrash-era San Francisco, where they won fans with an especially sleaze-basted take on biker metal
  45. ^ Jones, Jones. Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol. Da Capo Press.
  46. ^ Popoff, Martin. "Hard Reviews by Martin Popoff". Retrieved 23 September 2018. First up, Tank's This Means War combined a scampered biker metal with epic war tales, sorta like Motorhead crossed with Maiden.
  47. ^ Popoff, Martin. "The top 25 NWOBHM records". Goldmine. Retrieved 23 September 2018.

NotesEdit