Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons - 'The Age Of Absurdity' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 23, 2018    
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It's great to see that in an age of absurdity, we can still rely on Rock 'n' Roll.

From the long-term Motörhead guitarist comes an album with a title that's inspired by the crazy world we live in today; something Phil Campbell calls "a bit of a theater show".

With the three genuine, as opposed to bastard, junior Campbells – Todd (guitar), Dane (drums) and Tyla (bass) – joining Phil Campbell, thus keeping things firmly in the family, the band name probably does them a disservice. Having said that, it's a suitably apt moniker as there's an unavoidable loose musical connection with Phil Campbell's previous long-term day job; visually, they've adopted the same "give them the middle finger" defiance, although it's not quite in line with the image of a happy South Walian family unit. Their homeland also served as the recording location for what is their first full-length debut. The unit is rounded off by vocalist Neil Starr, a singer inspired by the blistering Campbell family riffing and the legendary Rockfield Studios, into pushing himself to the limit. He provides the final piece of the puzzle to the Campbell musical juggernaut as they romp through eleven numbers along with the bonus selection (only included on the album's first pressings) of Hawkwind's 'Silver Machine' featuring Dave Brock himself.

First impressions of 'The Age Of Absurdity' are that within a few moments of 'Freak Show' this could easily be Motörhead sans Lemmy Kilmister's unmistakable thundering bass. It's a signature that's similarly played out on 'Gypsy Kiss' and 'Dropping The Needle', the latter a testimony to the wonder of playing your records rather than anything more dubious. Three tracks stacked with the power and the glory of a band in full flight, proudly declaring their addiction to Rock 'n' Roll.

'Dark Days' offers a slower Blues Rock swagger as a quivering harp and pair of solos cut through the dense sonic swamp, and there's a glorious moment in the middle of 'High Rule' where Phil Campbell steps on the pedal and lets rip. Classic Hard Rock motifs aplenty see the likes of 'Freak...' cut from a Thin (Lizzy) cloth and 'Get On Your Knees' blends dirty riffs with some interesting wordplay around the "spare me the striptease, it's not the eighties, just get a grip please" territory. It's a cliché but the apples in this basket don't seem to have fallen far from the tree. It's great to see that in an age of absurdity, we can still rely on Rock 'n' Roll.

Mike Ainscoe

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