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Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons: We’re The Bastards

Since Lemmy’s passing and the end of Motorhead, Phil Campbell has certainly kept himself busy. Initially heading out on the concert circuit under the banner Phil Campbell’s All-Stars, seemingly appearing on every festival bill going, this soon morphed in to Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, an outfit also containing his sons Todd (guitar), Dane (drums) and Tyla (bass) as well as friend of the family Neil Starr on vocals. The band issued their debut album The Age of Absurdity in 2018, and toured this heavily. Not one to rest on his laurels, Campbell issued a special guest-packed solo album Old Lions Still Roar in 2019 and, with barely a pause for breath, he presents here The Bastard Sons sophomore album, unsubtly titled We’re The Bastards for our listening pleasure in these Covid-19 impacted times.

The title track kicks in with a great main riff, definitely a bit of a hint of Phil’s old band, helped by a good buzzing guitar sound. However, for a song with the title it has, you perhaps expect a bit more grit in the vocals. Neil Starr has a good voice but it is very clean, almost like a smoother Ricky Warwick (Black Star Riders). There’s some aggression in the lyrics but the delivery, for me, is a bit too polite to make the desired impact.

Elsewhere there’s plenty of variety inside the band’s hard rock framework; “Bite My Tongue” has more of a modern rock feel, “Desert Song” seems to be a (bastard!) cousin to Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Keep Your Jacket On” has an AC/DC-like propulsive groove to it, and “Destroyed” has a full-on, punky vibe. Last track “Waves”, meanwhile, is perhaps the biggest surprise, a slower, more reflective number which slowly builds to a powerful chorus and good, head banging riff, but goes to interesting places in getting there.

Truth be told, at 53 minutes the album feels a little too long - there are a few non-descript rockers that could have been lopped off the running time with no detriment to the album as a whole. Overall I am a bit torn on how to rate this album. Overall, it is a good modern hard rock record, and definitely moves the head and feet, despite the reservations I have regarding the (IMHO) overly smooth vocals and inclusion of a few fillers. So, I would cautiously recommend it to fans of the style. Motorhead fans will probably pick it up regardless , as long as they’re not expecting a Lemmy-alike at the mic, I think they would enjoy it too.

1.We’re The Bastards
2.Son Of A Gun
3.Promises Are Poison
4.Born To Roam
6.Bite My Tongue
7.Desert Song
8.Keep Your Jacket On
9.Lie To Me
10.Riding Straight To Hell
11.Hate Machine

Added: December 6th 2020
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 780
Language: english

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