REVIEW: PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS – “The Age Of Absurdity”
I have a love and don’t love (as hate is too strong a word) relationship with the new album called ‘The Age of Absurdity’ from Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. Just in case you don’t know, Phil Campbell is the extremely talented iron horse guitarist of one of the greatest rock bands in history; Motorhead. It turns out that Phil’s sons are equally talented. Todd (guitar), Dane (drums), and Tyla (bass) can jam. Teamed up with fellow Welsh vocalist Neil Starr, these guys are a potent arsenal of rock.
The new album launches from the gate with a speed rocking anthem called “Ringleader”. The drums are popping and send you flying down the track at warp speed. The guitar tone is something to be cherished. Beefy riffs with the bass thumping hard and rounding out the bottom, make you want to throw your fist into the sky with every beat. Equally enjoyable tunes are the punkish “Gypsy Kiss”, the heart pounding “Step Into The Fire”, and the dank blues of “Dark Days”.
The album is full of great grooves and plenty of catch hooks. The band is tighter than an over-torqued lug nut. The production on this album is outstanding with each instrument and vocals well defined and kicking out hard.
At this point, you may be wondering, so what isn’t to love? As great as the grooves are on this album, I felt that overall the music is flat. Neil Starr’s vocals are strong, but they fall into that pop rock range that fans of Pop Evil and Hinder will love. However, when combined with the super clean production and basic raunch and roll song writing that made the 80’s so depressing, it sucks the life out of the music. Instead of wanting to scream along and get rowdy with the band, I was ready to move on and find something more exciting. I am sure plenty of people will dig this album, but I sadly was not feeling it.
Denim and leather hard rock with a splash of 80’s sleaze rock is on tap with Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons album ‘The Age of Absurdity’. The music is loud and proud. The production and performance is polished and perfect. While that all sounds great, the overall effect left me flat. The music is fun, but the lyrical content and super shiny production left me wanting something a bit rawer and emotional.