Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – The Age of Absurdity Review

  • Released January 26, 2018
  • Label: Nuclear Blast

Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons consists of ex Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell and his three sons Todd, Dane and Tyla, and vocalist Neil Starr.

What a bonding experience that must be. Touring and playing in a band with your Dad who played with such a mighty band. ‘The Age of Absurdity’ is the bands debut album but not their first recording. ‘Big Mouth’ was released back in 2016. Following that release they have toured and support acts such as Airbourne on their 2017 UK tour. Finally, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons have their full length album out in the wild.

Opening with ‘Ringleader’, this sets the pace as a quick paced, classic rock opener. The production of this album is top notch as there is a distinct difference between the two guitar parts, even when they slam into the head banging chorus. The album was mixed by Romesh Dodangoda. The album was then handed over to the acclaimed Abbey Road Studios in London for final mastering.

‘Gypsy Kiss’ has a very strong harmony solo from the two guitarists. ‘High Rule’ has the catchiest verse riff on the whole album. It does sit very far back in the mix but when the full band kick back in for the chorus it just comes alive once again.

Each song brings a classic rock vibe that is full of head banging goodness. Everything you would expect from a seasoned guitarist like Phil Campbell

‘Skin and Bones’ allows us to hear the huge production on the album again with the choral double bass drum filling our ears (This was reviewed with headphones). Having the Left and Right bass drums panned is a simple yet very effective way of getting a large sound from two drums. It pays off here.

Now, an unpopular opinion would be, “The album all sounds the same” but this album does have a consistent style throughout, but what would you expect from a guitarist who has spent the best part of 40 years as professional musician. The majority of songs follow a very classic rock vibe with a Wah-Wah guitar solo. Now this is not necessarily a bad move as each song is unique in it’s own right.

‘Dark Days’ is a track however that differs from the norm on the album. Slower and a melodic harmonica part. Much more of a relaxed tone on this track. A large chorus kicks it up a notch but again relying on a very classic rock tone.

Closing the album ‘Into the Dark’, this feels a slight anti climactic end to what was a fast and full on album. The slower pace of this track does bring it to a well rounded end however, just not as loud or as fast as previous tracks had been. All in all this is a solid debut album for Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons. Exciting things are ahead for the band.

★★★☆☆

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