Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Motörhead Music/UDR
Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 17/01/2017

No one was ever really prepared for the passing of Lemmy. Maybe Motörhead’s inner circle had some time to prepare for the inevitable. The rest of us had absolutely bugger-all of a chance really. Lemmy’s passing shocked us all. No disrespect to Lemmy but clearly drummer Mickey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell both have more to give musically. So it should be no surprise that Phil Campbell has popped up with his own new group, gently titled Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons and the band have just released their debut self titled EP that consists of five rockin’ cuts spearheaded by the riffs of the elder Campbell in this group.

Now, I say the elder Campbell as the band is 80% Campbell blood. Phil recruited his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla as well as vocalist Neil Starr to record the group’s debut self-titled release. Whilst it might have been recorded by son Todd at their Stompbox Studios in Wales (U.K.), the Motörhead lineage continues with Motörhead’s producer Cameron Webb helming the mixing desk. So, keeping all this in mind, it would be reasonable for one to assume that Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons sound very much like Motörhead incarnate. Most importantly to this band’s success, that is not the case. Sure, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons play rock ‘n’ roll just like Campbell’s legendary previous band, but that is where the similarities end.

This EP is defined by loud guitars and a go-against-the-grain attitude in a typical rock ‘n’ roll manner. Thankfully, Phil Cambpell is smart enough to know that the absolute worst thing that he could have done here is churn out something that could only be considered a poor man’s Motörhead. PC and the Bastard Sons is even more rock ‘n’ roll than the mighty Motörhead which enables this to take on its own stance. Campbell’s nouse for delivering rockin’ riffs throughout stomping pace of the material overall results in a solid debut EP that predominantly mixes elements of blues and good ol’ straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Another key element to the appeal of this EP is the raspy performance of vocalist Neil Starr. His diversity is contrasted on the acoustic “Life In Space” which is book ended by grittier sounding “Big Mouth” and “Take Aim”. His voice is well suited to the ruckus being created by the quartet of Campbells.

This isn’t the rock ‘n’ roll that Motörhead laid claim to playing for many, many years. Sure, it is without doubt rock ‘n’ roll but the pendulum has clearly shifted towards rock more than metal. Phil’s involvement alone will draw countless people to check this out and it does stand on its own merits and as long as you always remember that it’s not trying to be Motörhead Mk II, then there’s plenty here to enjoy and rock out to.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Motörhead Music/UDR

Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 17/01/2017