Ace of Spades played by robot band Compressorhead - cool!

When I first saw this video of robot band Compressorhead playing the classic Motörhead track Ace of Spades I thought it was a wind up. When I realised it was for real, I fair shite m'self.

Compressorhead play Ace of Spades

For all of the clones, drones and movies like Terminator: Rise of the Machines, thought-processing robots still seems like fantasy fiction. At least until I saw Compressorhead's YouTube video of the Ace Of Spades.

Okay, it's instrumental. If they got a robot to sound like Lemmy, they'd probably send it straight to the recycle heap, anyway. That rough, gruff voice, although perfect for the Ace of Spades, would never get past Simon Cowell, et al, would it?

But you only have to listen to the robot band recreate the howling six-string, rolling bass-line and that maniacal cauldron of a drum roll and wow! You realise how close programmable hardware is to being able to perform human actions.

Okay, the lead guitarist has 78 fingers and the drummer four arms. But hey, that's the advantage of being heavy metal through and through. And Compressorhead are that, alright.

Ace of Spades isn't Compressorhead's debut

It's not solely the fact that Compressorhead are creating the Ace of Spades so accurately and on real instruments that's amazing. If it was synthesised, it would be no great shake. It's the way they actually look like they're digging playing the track that's mesmerising.

What surprised me even more was the fact that this is not a first. Compressorhead have been a robot band for some years. You can find a video of the German robotic three-piece dating back to 2009 on YouTube. This one shows Compressorhead covering the classic Becoming by Pantera.

Still not convinced? Compressorhead are playing 'live' later this month down under. They're in Australia as part of Rock 'n' Ride for the Big Day Out. They also have their own website and, of course, individual names.

Going under the monikers Stickboy (drums), Fingers (lead guitar) and Bones (bass), Compressorhead give us a taste in the Ace of Spades video of what you can expect at the Aussie 5-day festival. As far as a cover version goes, it ain't half bad.

And you all thought robotics was associated with the electro movement of the early eighties. I wonder what Neil the Hippy would have made of Compressorhead if they'd turned up to play Ace of Spades on The Young Ones instead of Motörhead?

Have Your Say:

  • Is Compressorhead just a gimmicky robot band?

  • Or is there a real future for live rock in this heavy metal format given the longevity that could be achieved by a robot band?