Son Of A Gun – Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons

Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons new album arrived through the front door on my birthday like a gift from Me to Me. Titled We’re The Bastards it seemed as if I’d looked at the pre-order for it one night while slightly squiffy and thought “I should get that for older me, he’ll appreciate the gesture”

So somehow I’ve gifted myself a heavy metal album on a birthday where I’m so old, not many others would do so and I’ve called myself A Bastard. That SteveForTheDeaf. He knows me so well.

Phil Campbell’s band is made up of three of his sons. So the bastard thing is clearly a term of endearment. Before I knew this nugget of information, I had wondered why Phil Campbell from Motörhead didn’t team up with Phil Campbell from The Temperance Movement (see the Those Damn Crows post from a couple of days ago for an insight into his availability). They could form a band called Phil Campbell and Phil Campbell and (here’s where it gets silly) they could get a couple of the guys from Def Leppard in, Phil and Campbell. It was only then that I realised! One of those three amazing guitarists would have to play bass and they would still need a drummer, so that wouldn’t work…

Other than that my plan was perfect.

Phil from Motörhead is taking his last man standing status seriously (I haven’t forgotten about you Mikkey, but drummers sit down and you’re very busy being in Scorpions, so for the sake of metaphor, let it ride yeah?) he has discussed switching up the material his band play from the fantastically straight up heavy rock of The Bastard Sons to crowd appeasing tribute sets of material by his old band. As fun as it would be seeing and hearing the beloved hymns in the spaces they were always best in, it’s the new material I have come to praise today.

I went in for their last album The Age of Absurdity pretty hard. Tracks like Highrule, Ringleader and the previously adored Freak Show earned that album many a play over the last few years. For We’re The Bastards to live up to it is one thing. To supersede it. Well. Bass rumble, guitar riff aping it, punchy vocal over a 4/4 beat with lots of high hat. It’s heavy rock the way it’s supposed to be. I’ll be a Son Of A Gun. That title is reminiscent of a Motörhead way of doing things. We Are Motörhead is one of my favorite of their albums. We Are The Bastards might be Phil and his Boys best yet.

In the middle of Son Of A Gun, Phil gets to do a solo so gloriously trad metal it’s not even worth trying to find other ways to describe it. This is music for biker bars. This is music for repairing engines. This is music for manual labour. This is music for people who love their rock and roll made the old way. It’s also for the collectors, the obsessives, the enthusiasts. The goofy fan made video for the title track posted below shows the warmth with which a certain demographic (nerds and rockers alike) hold PCATBS to their collective chest.

Wonder what I’ll get myself for Christmas?

Check out the Trad Metal Guitar Solo
Terry Gilliam Style Trad Metal Video
It’s not only his old band he pays tribute to
Rock fans are such Dorks! We are the Bastards!
If you’re living’ in Dark Days you need a swaggering blues riff

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