Record Reviews

Album review: Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons “The Age of Absurdity” | Motör-Phil marches on

Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell soldiers on in the name of rock’n’roll.

Phil Campbell made a name for himself as the long-term lead guitarist in Motörhead, from 1984 until Lemmy’s death in December 2015.

In his own band Phil has teamed up with his three sons Todd Campbell (guitar), Dane Campbell (drums) and Tyla Campbell (bass) and vocalist Neil Starr. Like Motörhead, this is hard rock music based on straightforward riff-heavy rock’n’roll. The opening track, “Ringleader”, has some obvious Motörhead echoes and they appear here and there on the album. But overall the music on this album is a bit different, not least because Starr is a very different kind of singer than Lemmy (obviously as there is only one Lemmy). Starr has more of a mainstream rock voice but it actually fits well with the music on this album.

Songs like “Freak Show”, “Skin and Bones” and “High Rule” sound rather modern while “Into the Dark” has more of a retro feel. “Gypsy Kiss” and “Dropping the Needle” are punky rock songs while “Dark Days” is blues rock. We do get some great variation on this album which very well showcases the different capabilities of this band. Yes, we do get a Lemmy tribute, but it’s a Hawkwind song rather than a Motörhead one. “Silver Machine” was a 1972 single released by Hawkwind when Lemmy was its bassist and he also sang lead vocals on the original version of this song. The Japanese bonus track, “Shit Happens”, is good fun and a terrific rocker of a song. It’s great to see Motör-Phil continuing the Motörhead legacy he helped create. But it is also great to see he’s not standing still, but moving on and creating some new stuff that is not trying to be Motörhead . Great stuff that will no doubt work well live.

Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons’ album “The Age of Absurdity” is out now via Ward Records in Japan and Nuclear Blast internationally.