Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons – “The Age Of Absurdity” (Nuclear Blast)
With the recent demise of Fast Eddie Clarke (RIP), Phil Campbell now remains the sole (certified) practitioner of Motorhead’s rattlesnake rock n roll, which along with his (bastard) sons Todd (guitar), Dane (drums) and Tyla (bass), he does in fine style. Complemented by vocalist Neil Starr, Campbell has taken up the challenge of festival performances across Europe over the last few years to establish his band as something more than a nicety or project – make no mistake, this is a full on full force hard rock n roll band! With over 32 years spent in Motorhead and some 16 studio albums under his belt, many have overlooked that Campbell has co-written 90% of Motörhead’s studio output. Still, despite his quiet persona, his music definitely rocks and is even more hard to ignore – as this roaring debut will undoubtedly prove! Unashamedly drawing even closer to Motorhead while being classy enough not to be some cash in, there are plenty of occasions be it in Starr’s occasion gruff vocals, Tyla’s strummed bass and the dirty rock n roll riffing that Motorhead more than springs to mind like on the blistering opener ‘Ringleader’. However, keen to show their own merit on the cow rock n roll of ‘Dark Days’, it’s all clean n soulful vocals, harmonica and some impressive blues rock guitar, especially in Campbell’s own blinding solo complete with that signature sound. Make no mistake though, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons is a live band honed in the road dust of Motorhead, and that’s where the likes of ‘Step Into The Fire’ come into their own: backed by the yeti stomp of Dane’s drums, the simplicity of this meat n potatoes music cannot be overstated, yet its driving effect quite the contrary as the deep beat and superior riffs just drill into you, irresistibly making you move and get into the groove. It is this essence that made the legend of Motorhead both live and in the studio and Campbell has enviably mastered its secrets, although commendably sharing it across the stunning 11 kick ass tracks here. No remorse. No effects. And deffo no image. In an age perceived by many to be indeed absurd, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons are deffo fer real. And then some.