Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons – The Age Of Absurdity


A must-hear album…

Reviewed by Angelina Pelova and released on Nuclear Blast on 26 January 2018

For a new band, Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons are doing pretty damn well: tracks from their debut album The Age of Absurdity are regularly being aired on UK’s biggest rock station Planet Rock; they also toured with monsters such as Saxon (2016) and Guns N’Roses (2017). Not many newcomers boast such privileges. They are not, however, strictly speaking, newcomers, which can explain their immediate success. Motörhead fans will instantly recognise Phil Campbell’s name… which says it all.

Motörhead’s legendary guitar player formed the band in August 2016 together with his three sons and vocalist Neil Starr at the Wacken Festival in Germany which gave them a brilliant kick start. They have now released their first CD: a powerful ball of raw energy: right from the opening track ‘Ring Leader’ through its whole entirety. It is perfectly crafted, with staggering guitar riffs, great underlying melodies and passionate vocals. Most intros are in Motörhead and Black Sabbath’s best traditions, making the album particularly enjoyable to listen to. It caused havoc amongst critics, with some reviews condemning the album as unoriginal and tacky, while others, from the other end of the spectrum,  called it “uncomplicated joy” (Kerrang!).

The Motörhead blood running in the band’s veins makes this album a very good listen. It is a perfect exemplar of classic heavy rock and could have easily been written during heavy metal’s golden era. It would probably have made Lemmy proud to have such a good spin-off.

There is no single track in this CD that you would not want to play on full blast. It is decently heavy, but not too much: just right for fans of this kind of metal. The tunes are catchy, which shot them into national radio pretty much immediately. There is a melodic track thrown into the mix as well: ‘Into The Dark’, so all you would need from a classical album is there.

Lyrics are not particularly complicated, full of passion (duly including sarcasm and irony), which contributes to the general feeling that this is music you will want to hear on a good night out or head bang to in live concerts. Great examples are ‘Step Into The Fire’, ‘Dropping The Needle’, ‘Gypsy Kiss’, and pretty much most of the album.

If you are a fan of classic metal, this is a must-hear album. If you are looking for complicated perfection, however, you could give it a miss. Personally I am pleased to have heard it and hope to hear the band live soon.

Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons – The Age Of AbsurdityTrack list:

  1. Ring Leader
  2. Freak Show
  3. Skin and Bone
  4. Gypsy Kiss
  5. Welcome to Hell
  6. Dark Days
  7. Dropping The Needle
  8. Stop Into The Fire
  9. Get On Your Knees
  10. High Rule
  11. Into The Dark