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Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – 'We’re The Bastards' Album Review


1. We’re The Bastards

2. Son Of A Gun

3. Promises Are Poison

4. Born To Roam

5. Animals

6. Bite My Tongue

7. Desert Song

8. Keep Your Jacket On

9. Lie To Me

10. Riding Straight To Hell

11. Hate Machine

12. Destroyed

13. Waves

Phil Campbell may (obviously) be most famous for being a long-standing member of Motorhead, but after the sad passing of Lemmy, he formed a new band, and they released their debut album back in 2018. At the time, I thought it was a pretty good album, though it wasn’t one that was on solidly – was just a bluesy Hard Rock bit of background noise (although 'Freak Show' was an absolute banger). So I was interested to see what the differences would be in this second effort – obviously, Phil Campbell can just make whatever music he likes for the rest of his life, he’s had his success and is just having fun, and that all-prevailing feeling of fun comes through on “We’re The Bastards”.

The opening title track really sets out the stock you can expect from this album – a tongue in cheek number with a chorus clearly designed to be chanted in a live setting (when we can ever get back to a live setting again!) and then the album kicks it up a notch with track two, one of my own personal favourites “Son Of A Gun”. Starting off with a brilliant bass riff, this song is just balls to the wall Rock, and I love it. The solo in particular is just sublime.

The album moves through a couple of slower numbers in the next two tracks, even flirting with some Country-style guitar in the intro of “Born To Roam”, before slamming back into another of my favourite tracks on the album – “Animals”. And to be honest, the album keeps going with just enough variation to make everything stand out from here on out. “Bite My Tongue” sounds like it could have been a chart hit in the 2000s, back when Rock and Metal songs occasionally were chart hits, and “Desert Song” is another personal favourite – the slow, almost ballad-esque feel making me think of everything from Led Zeppelin to RHCP and all sorts in between.

The second half of the album continues to be great, with the absolutely sublime “Riding Straight To Hell” my favourite in this section, and that is followed by “Hate Machine”, which is another balls to the wall Hard Rock classic. Sadly, the last track “Waves”, is a slower number that just doesn’t quite feel like it belongs in my opinion. It’s perfectly fine, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t quite feel like it is as good as the rest of the album.

I don’t need to tell you how good the musicianship is, Phil’s been playing guitar for more years than I can count and you know what he sounds like, though he does get to experiment with more styles here than he did in Motorhead.

In short, this is a great album, and definitely one worth buying to keep you rocking through the horrendous year that is 2020.

Review - Michael Braunton


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