Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons - The Age of Absurdity

Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons The Age of Absurdity cover
Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons
The Age of Absurdity
Nuclear Blast
Obviously choosing to pick Phil Campbell’s band with his three sons, Todd, Dane and Tyla, plus Welsh vocalist Neil Starr (from Attack! Attack!) is done in order to try and capitalize on the fact that for a long time he was the guitar slinger for Motorhead. And I’d be perfectly cool with that if what he offered here was superior rock n roll, or superior anything… for that matter, but what he, his boys and their road-burned in singer have come up with is average at best rock that seems to lack direction. Campbell seems to offer the occasional good crunchy riff, but Starr takes things in a post reunion Motley, Buckcherry, Backyard Babies sort of direction with a ton of alternative elements in his delivery and not anywhere as much charisma as character as say Lemmy or even other frontmen in Rock n Roll that made a name for themselves…
While most songs are sort and to the point, the fact that a forty minute album got me yawning left and right is telling… First single “Welcome to Hell” is not all that interesting without a hard hitting chorus leaving it to “Gypsy Kiss”, which is possibly something that might have been headed Lemmy’s way, had he still been around… it’s one of the better tunes here.
“Dropping the Needle” would have been even better, had it not copied note for note The Gone Jackal’s “The Legacy” (The Theme song from The Computer game Full Throttle if you’re unfamiliar), a far superior song overall… c’mon the variations attempted on that super-riff are lame at best and I hope they’ve given the jackals a credit too for this, otherwise it would be criminal.
“Get on Your Knees” is a catchy sort of 90s-UK-alt rock anthem that could get fans of anyone from Bush, Papa Roach, Inme, you name it, head bopping for a while, but it’s really nothing too special. Heck, I liked it as well, but forgot it almost INSTA-ntly.
“High Rule” has an interesting intro, but quickly disintegrates and any good ideas seem to drown out in a sea of experimentation on failed cliché rehashing.
“Into the Dark”, that closes the album, seems to have something going on, but heck not something that would probably interest your average Motorheadbanger that will sell out for anything that Lem might have touched, or a shirt, but not this. Sorry, this feels as wannabe “biker” as most of B(L)S catalog, although it probably contains more hits than they ever managed, not necessarily all original.
I’m off to spin “A Bone to Pick”. Decent try, but no cigar, or vodka, or any sort of beverage. Try a different vocalist or a different style altogether or suffer having to play “Ace of Spades” as an encore ad nauseam to dwindling crowds that will only seek autographs without giving two shits for what you’re actually trying to do.