Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – “We’re The Bastards” CD / 2LP (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed in the aftermath of Lemmy’s passing in 2015, guitarist Phil Campbell wasted no time in pressing his sons into service as they trouped the festival circuit whipping up the crowds to raucous covers of Motörhead songs as well as their own originals. However, anyone thinking this was a flash in the pan was clearly underestimating the measure of man who stood stage left to Lemmy for 32 years, sold millions of albums and headlined the biggest festivals in the world! Two years on from “The Age Of Absurdity” and it’s clear that both Phil and his sons Todd (guitar), Tyla (bass) and Dane (drums) – along with odd man out vocalist Neil Starr – have now found their feet in acquiring a following of their own and a sophomore that very much sees them getting into their stride. As such, “We’re The Bastards” doesn’t pull any punches over the course of its 13 bruising tracks being very much in the vein of latter day Motörhead’s snake rattle ‘n’ roll. That said, it’s less of a continuation of the legendary power trio, but more of their spirit underlying the Campbells’ own fiery hard rock built to destroy live whether it’s in a pub or an arena – but either way, no prisoners are taken! With no effects or frills, ‘Animals’ roars in the fast ‘n’ raw rock ‘n’ roll riffs as dad and son Todd fuel the fire while Starr adds a little gruffness to style although maintaining his soul in building up to the catchy air punching chorus – complete with church bell – before dad’s trademark Motörhead sounding solo, which you’ll instantly recognise, wails into you. Crunching in on ‘Riding Straight To Hell’, a real pub rock blues bruiser with its sharp ‘n’ catchy one-two riff, Starr stretches his pipes as the ballsy chorus hits singing ‘…set me free, set me free..’ as the teasing solo sinks its fangs in while Tyla’s bass hums voluminously in the background. I mean, you know what you’re getting with this family: no nonsense, straight from the heart honest hard rock ‘n’ roll played from the cradle! Giving it some aggro and punk on ‘Destroyed’ complete with its ‘f–k you!’ shout outs, the Fast Eddie Clarke inspired guitar(s) bring on the abrasive riffs topped off by superb rock ‘n’ roll breaks just like the great man did in his day while Dane’s drums keep up the steaming pace to Starr ‘s rhyming lyrics sung through his gruff tones reminiscent of you know who. Motörhead, AC/DC, Twisted Sister, The Almighty…Phil Campbell and his Bastard Sons wanna be right up there with them….