Phil Campbell - 'Old Lions Still Roar' Album review

October 20, 2019

Tracklist: 

1. Rocking Chair (feat. Leon Stanford)

2. Straight Up (feat. Rob Halford)

3. Faith in Fire (feat. Ben Ward)

4. Swing It (feat. Alice Cooper)

5. Left for Dead (feat. Nev MacDonald)

6. Walk The Talk (feat. Nick Oliveri)

7. These Old Boots (feat. Dee Snider)

8. Dancing Dogs [Love Survives] (feat. Whitfield Crane)

9. Dead Roses (feat. Benji Webbe)

10. Tears From A Glass Eye

 

For any of you that don’t know, Phil Campbell was a member of Motörhead for over 30 years. That’s pretty impressive in itself.  He is also rocking round the world with his band - Phil Campbell And The Bastard sons - that contains 3 of his ‘real’ sons (I’m not fact checking to see if they were or were not born in wedlock). Which brings us to this, his first solo record. It’s one of those ‘let’s invite lots of my Rock ‘mates’ to an album’ kind of thing and I’m not sure why it exists. Is it a vanity project? Is it a celebration go good ol’ Rock’n’Roll? Or is just an excuse to party in the studio? Probably it’s mixture of all the above. The thing is, it’s not a bad record per se, it’s just not going to change the world. Yeah, I know it wasn’t meant to, but who is going to emotionally invest themselves into this platter? Maybe it’s just here to find Phil Campbell another guitar or song writing gig. He’s obviously more than capable in both departments.

 

So, what do you get for your Spotify bandwidth? One thing we can clear up straight away -  this ain’t Motörhead.

 

We begin with ‘Rocking Chair’. A solid Country Rock number, which tells the tale of Phil’s life. It’s the kind of song Deacon could knock up in afternoon on an episode of Nashville.

 

The Metal begins with ‘Straight Up’, which features Rob Halford from Judas Priest, whose singing in his lower octave for this one. It’s OK, a bit meh.

 

‘Faith In Fire’ with Ben Ward more than resembles a Gene Simmons Asylum-era Kiss song - you know the type - nestled towards the end of side 2.

 

Who the hell is singing track 4 (‘Swing It’) with such gnarly voice? I should have known, because he’s singing about ’poison’ - it’s Alice Cooper. He sounds great and the song benefits because of it.

 

‘Left For Dead’ is another Country rocker. A bit too profi for my liking. The kind of song Luke Wheeler would promote for a whole season of Nashville.

 

Bloody hell, is that Paul Dianno? No, but it’s a great vocal delivery for ‘Walk the Talk’- nice!

Dee Snider then comes to town on ‘These Old Boots’ and, like Alice, does a sterling job. It’s another Kiss-like number, but this time sounding more like a Paul Stanley number (which means it would have been the album opener! Sorry, Gene).

 

Looking at my notes, track 8, ‘Dancing Dogs’, just says: “…sounds like a demo from a Slash solo album…” Damn, I can be cutting.

 

‘Dead Roses’ is a well-crafted, ‘Come Taste the Band’-era Rock with a bit of soul number. It’s good, just out of place.

 

The last track is some pleasant but utterly unneeded guitar noodling.

 

It’s a mixed bag musically, pitching somewhere between LA and Nashville. It’s very professional but ultimately, is very forgettable.

Website - www.philcampbell.net

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PhilCampbellATBS/

 

Review - David Hancox

 

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