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Review : Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons EP

Phil Campbell was in Motörhead for 32 years. 32 fucking years! That is incredible. The man that was responsible for co-writing 90% of Motörhead’s studio output including ‘Orgasmatron’, among many others, and played a crucial part in the legacy that Motörhead left behind. Grammy award winner and top bloke, Phil Campbell and his three sons, Todd, Dane, and Tyla, along with vocalist Neil Starr, have begun to make waves on the live circuit, and now the self-titled EP is out there with the aim of creating a new legacy.

There’s a great deal of variety on the EP, which is pleasing to see. At the core of everything is Phil Campbell’s lead work, which, along with son Todd, is blistering. Opener ‘Big Mouth’ is fast and loud, everything rock n’ roll is supposed to be. Foot stomping and head banging. Enough said, really. ‘Spiders’ has, in places, a Thin Lizzy vibe to the guitars, mainly during the opening few moments. That twin guitar crunch that Lizzy perfected. The song is way more metal than Thin Lizzy though, it’s classic old school metal with a great understated vocal from Starr. The guitar solos are top notch and simply scream at the listener. ‘Take Aim’ continues with more of the same, trad metal mixed with classic rock harmonies. The Lizzy overtones are ramped up again during the celtic jig mid song. Try and listen to it without bobbing your head. It can’t be done. It’s infectious, and groovy as hell. ‘No Turning Back’ is unashamedly a tip of the hat to Campbell’s time in Motörhead. Listen to it unaware of who was playing guitar, and you’d make the connection. The song twists and turns so many times though that it is way more than merely a homage to the icons of fast, loud rock n’ roll. ‘Life In Space’ is the ace in the pack, an acoustic gem that features a hint of Zeppelin’s ‘Bron-Yr-Aur-Stomp’, which is fitting, considering Campbell’s Welsh dragon status! One of my favourite memories of Motörhead was during the tour with Alice Cooper and Joan Jett, when they did the acoustic section mid set. Lemmy standing up with his hair slicked back and collar up, Phil and Mikkey Dee sitting with acoustic guitars. Fuck, it was good, and this brings it all back. There you have it, a run through the gamut of rock n’ roll in five short, sharp moments. Go check it out. Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons play a homecoming show in Pontypridd on New Year’s Eve, now that should be a belter.

More details on the EP and the New Year’s Eve gig can be found on their social media.

Review: Dave Stott


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